Nursing, Kinesiology, and Psychology Collaboration in HIV Research: Interprofessional Perspectives

Tuesday, 31 October 2017: 8:00 AM

Elizabeth F. Sefcik, PhD1
Inge B. Corless, PhD2
Mary Jane Hamilton, PhD3
Liana R. Webster, PhD4
Misty R. Kesterson, PhD4
Richard J. Ricard, PhD5
(1)College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, USA
(2)MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA, USA
(3)College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, USA
(4)Kinesiology Department, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, USA
(5)Counseling & Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, USA

Background:There has been little scientific investigation of interprofessional collaboration in research. The focus of research on interprofessional collaboration has been on education and practice with the goal of improving health outcomes. The acute care practice environment benefits from much of the research that has been conducted on interprofessional collaboration (Bridges, McNeill, Munro, 2017). Researchers have investigated the factors that promote interprofessional collaboration in the practice environment (Reagan, Lashinger & Wong, 2015;) as well as the barriers to such teamwork (Hall, 2005). Indeed, the collaborative efforts in education have had the goal of improvement of patient care. The National League for Nursing (NLN) (2017) recognizes that interprofessional education core competencies as a framework to develop systematic plans that help students meet IPEC (Interprofessional Education Collaboration) competency domains in varied educational settings (e.g., classroom, clinical, simulation-learning environment) have become more prominent. In fact, NLN is recommending that the curricula content and traditional approaches be examined to determine bias and messaging that impede interprofessional practice and subsequent health care delivery. Lastly it is important to mentor nursing students to seek out teamwork training and collaborative practice opportunities (Booth, McMullen-Fix 2012; Farrell, Payne, Heye, 2015; NLN 2017, p. 58). Green and Johnson (2015) building on the work of the World Health Organization (2010), illustrate the relationship of interprofessional education for collaborative practice with the result of a strengthened health system and improved health outcomes (p.5).

Far less has been discussed about interprofessional collaboration in research perhaps because it has been assumed that such collaboration is the norm. And to some degree it is. No research grant would be submitted for funding without the requisite expertise in the various sciences and statistics. The benefits of such collaboration may seem obvious. There are also, challenges to interprofessional collaboration. This would include questions of turf and group dynamics that also may pose a problem because of the inbred and assumed research practices by various professions. Methodology, research design, data collection and analysis all need to be discussed and agreed upon. Research with collaborators in one’s own profession requires this conversation even more so when the jargon of the potential collaborators differs. Schedule coordination is a necessity for planning and execution of the research study and is complicated when collaborators work for different departments and/or organizations. Finally, funding for the research when there is no grant, is another challenge.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the perspectives of research collaborators on their interprofessional collaboration during and at the conclusion of their HIV research..

Method: Qualitative analysis will be used to investigate known obstacles and positive outcomes as a frame for discussion via an electronic questionnaire (Qualtrics). Data on collaboration will be collected during HIV data collection and it's completion. The data for the study of interprofessional perspectives on collaboration will be examined independently by the investigators of this study. After the completion of the HIV study, the investigators were invited to revisit their initial responses and add further commentary to enrich our understanding of the challenges confronting scientists engaging in interprofessional collaborative research.

Conclusions: With this study of the challenges of interprofessional, collaborative research, investigators preparing to engage in such research will be able to resolve key issues prior to engaging in interprofessional collaboration, thereby assuring a smoother pathway to the benefits of collaborative research.