142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Building Transdisciplinary Research Teams to Study Women's Health Disparities across Legal, Economic, and Social Welfare Domains: Lessons Shared from the Formative Journey

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 1:15 PM - 1:35 PM

Shawn M. Kneipp, PhD , School of Nursing, The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Donna Gilleskie, PhD , Department of Economics, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Amanda Sheely, PhD, MSW, MPH , Department of Social Policy, The London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom
Todd Schwartz, DrPH , Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Biostatistics, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Robert Gilmore , Economic Services, Orange County Department of Social Services, Hillsborough, NC
Daryl Atkinson, JD , Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Durham, NC
Background: Increasingly, scientific funding agencies are requiring that researchers move toward an integrated, transdisciplinary team science paradigm, which is qualitatively different from multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary approaches.  While the barriers to and rewards of conducting this type of research have been discussed extensively in the literature, specific examples of how nurse investigators have led these teams to reconcile the differences in theoretical, methodological, and/or analytic perspectives that inevitably exist are lacking. 

Description: In this presentation, we describe these developmental trajectory challenges through a case study of one transdisciplinary team.  This is discussed within the context of literature that has provided guidance for building transdisciplinary teams, where team member characteristics and the leadership tasks associated with the successful launching and maintenance of teams over time.  

Lessons Learned:  Addressing challenges related to theory integration, methods application, and analytic perspectives proved quite difficult -- particularly across the economics disciplinary perspective and researchers on the team with nursing, social work, and public health-oriented biostatistics backgrounds.  Overcoming these challenges, however, has been essential to examining the complex, and potentially cumulative effects that key intersections between legal, social welfare, and labor market systems may have on the health of disadvantaged women.  

Implications/Recommendations:  Many of the characteristics and tasks needed to engage in transdisciplinary research are very familiar to public health nurses, which make nurse scientists with backgrounds in public health extremely well-suited to lead these teams.  The rewards of persevering to overcome expected challenges can lead to significant breakthroughs in understanding, and examining, phenomena in novel ways.

Learning Areas:

Biostatistics, economics
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe two characteristics of public health nursing that are advantageous for leading transdisciplinary research teams.

Keyword(s): Public Health Research, Participatory Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the lead investigator on this research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.