Collaborative Research Types And Advantages

Afza.Malik GDA

Collaborative Research In Nursing 

Collaborative Research Types And Advantages

What Is  Collaborative Research,Prevailing Trends In Collaboration,Collaborative Research Advantages,Types of Collaborative Research ,Traditional Model ,Health Care Model,Unification of Model,Consortium Model,Participatory Action Research.

What Is  Collaborative Research

    Collaborative research involves cooperation of individuals, agencies, and organizations in the planning, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of research activities. 

    Ideal collaboration brings the perspectives of nursing practice, research, and education to bear on complex issues of health and nursing. The research process, context, design, and needed resources for collaborative projects are not unique within the research arena. 

    The unique feature involves the configuration of a research team whose members bring varying expertise, perspectives, and authority within an institution or agency.

Prevailing Trends In Collaboration

    Two prevailing trends support collaboration, namely, constrained resources and sociopolitical accountability. With diminishing resources to fund research and to deliver health care, partnerships can be an effective and efficient way to use human, fiscal, and material resources. 

    Pooling resources of a variety of individuals, agencies, and disciplines can maximize the potential of all participants and contribute to a greater outcome. Related to scarce resources is the call for increased accountability of research efforts. 

    If finite resources are to be allocated, society and specific funding sources ask that the project demonstrate societal relevance and a connection to public concerns. 

    Through partner-ships with consumers, communities, or current practitioners, relevant and timely issues are more likely to emerge as inquiry topics.

Potential Collaborators

    Potential collaborators fall into several categories. Individuals can come to the project with expertise in the research process or in a substantive clinical area. Individuals can contribute the perspective of education, service, or research. 

    Agencies or institutions can participate as collaborators, bringing specific human or material resources. 

    Population groups can contribute the perspective and wisdom of a community. Nursing literature also advocates international collaborative efforts.

 Collaborative Research Advantages

    Collaborative research involves multiple advantages. One potential advantage is a strengthened process and improved outcome through the contribution from multiple individuals with varying expertise and perspectives. 

    Investigator bias can be reduced with multiple inputs. Multisite partnerships give a potential of larger sample size over a shorter time frame and the benefits of built-in replication. 

    Resources and potential funding sources can be increased through collaboration. The possibility of greater dissemination of findings increases with more participants. 

    Collaboration with clinical agencies can help identify potential student clinical placement and supports a context for research that is compatible with the realities of nursing practice. 

    Additionally, innovations in nursing practice or policy are more likely to be adopted if those involved in implementation participated in the inquiry process. Finally, collaborative interaction can enhance professional creativity, collegiality, and productivity.

     Although benefits exist, collaborative research also presents distinct disadvantages. Most disadvantages are related to interpersonal issues and the complexities of pulling together different perspectives, priorities, and styles. 

    Teamwork requires clear communication, trust, openness, administrative coordination, and distinct role delineation. Without those features, the integrity of the research and the professional productivity of the collaborators are at risk. 

    Another disadvantage of collaboration is the possibility of multiple review boards and organizational protocols. Collaboration may also add to the time commitment.

Types of Collaborative Research 

    Five major types of collaborative research described in the nursing literature are the traditional model, health care setting model, unification model, consortium model, and participatory action research. Each model has advantages and disadvantages.

 Traditional Model 

        In the traditional model, individual researchers from the same or different institutions work together. In this model, researchers learn from the expertise of each other. 

    The usual equal distribution of experience and expertise means that the research tasks can be divided. The project ideas can be criticized by two or more researchers with training in the research process or in a substantive area. 

    Detrimental characteristics of the traditional model relate to the need of decreased teaching load for researchers with an educational appointment and the need for resources of funding and research assistance. Examples of the traditional model abound.

Health Care Model

    In the health care model, research occurs within a clinical institution under the leadership of an employed nurse researcher. Collab-speakers include the clinical staff and the nurse researcher. 

    The strongest merit of this model is the development of practice-relevant research; and because clinicians are involved, there is ownership, accepted innovation, and practice based on scientific research. 

    In this model, subjects are easily accessible, and interdisciplinary collaboration is easily arranged. Disadvantages involve the potential for poor generalizability, investigator bias, role conflict, and scarce research funding.

Unification of Model

    In the unification model, academic researchers from educational institutions and clinicians from health care agencies collaborate as equal partners. 

    Benefits include combined resources from education and service, practice-relevant research, and enhanced collegiality. 

    Disadvantages relate to the complexity of blending two institutions' perspectives and priorities, the challenges of meeting time and place, and the need to decrease teaching or work load for the researchers.

Consortium Model

    The consortium model involves individuals from multiple health care agencies in a geographic region. This model provides the benefits of cost sharing, large subject pool, decreased data collection time, and the momentum and inspiration of a shared project. 

    Because of the geographic distance between sites, communication and decision making present major challenges. Multiple agencies also introduce multiple protocols or review boards. 

    Researchers in this model often report an ambiguity regarding their role in the project.

Participatory Action Research 

    The participatory action research (PAR) model combines community participation, research, and action to solve pressing social problems. This mode of inquiry involves the community as an equal partner at every step of the process. 

    Benefits include empowerment of local communities, development of law leadership, and resolution of real-life situations. Disadvantages involve a long time commitment and difficulty in obtaining funding.

    Collaborative efforts can be enhanced by the explicit discussion and written communication of guidelines. Thiele (1989) mentioned three significant issues that require attention: “questions of authorship, contribution and recognition of effort” (p. 150). 

    Written agreement among collaborators should clarify role responsibilities for each participant, decision-making processes, tentative time schedules, spin-off projects, and subsequent use of data. 

    Engebretson and Wardell (1997) listed the requisite personal attributes as “trustworthiness, competence, and flexibility” and the requisite relationship attributes as “acceptance, validation, and commitment” and often synergy and fun.

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