The various health and social care services provided in a given local area (i.e., place-based) must not only deliver primary care in proximity to the population, but act upstream on the social determinants of health. This type of care, when provided in a holistic and integrated manner, aims to improve the physical and mental health—but also the well-being and social capital—of individuals, families, groups and communities. This type of approach is known as Integrated Community Care (ICC).
This article was developed from a non-systematic review of scientific and grey literature followed by a qualitative analysis and researcher reflections on ICC. It presents the core concepts of ICC, namely temporality, local area, health care, social care, proximity and integration. These concepts are unpacked and a conceptual diagram is set forth to put the dynamic links between the concepts into perspective.
The purpose of the article is to provide a conceptual clarification of ICC. Three examples of practise (from Switzerland, Quebec [Canada] and Italy) are used as illustrations to provide a better understanding of ICC and to open up horizons.