Development of the Assessment for Collaborative Environments (ACE-15): A Tool to Measure Perceptions of Interprofessional "Teamness"

Virginia Tilden's picture
Submitted by Virginia Tilden on May 11, 2016 - 9:10am CDT

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As interprofessional education moves from classroom to clinical settings, assessing clinical training sites for a high level of “teamness” to ensure optimal learning environments is critical but often problematic ahead of student placement. We developed a tool (Assessment for Collaborative Environments, or ACE), suitable for a range of clinical settings and health professionals, that allows rapid assessment of a clinical practice’s teamwork qualities. We collected evidence of tool validity including content, response process, internal structure, and convergent validity. Expert review and cognitive interviews allowed reduction of the initial 30-item tool to 15 items (the ACE-15). Data from 192 respondents from 17 clinical professions and varied clinical settings (inpatient, ambulatory, urban, and rural) were used for factor analysis, which resulted in a single factor solution. Internal consistency reliability Cronbach’s alpha was high at 0.91. Subgroup analysis of 121 respondents grouped by their clinical teams (n = 16 teams) showed a wide range of intra-team agreement. Data from a subsequent sample of 54 clinicians who completed the ACE-15 and a measure of team cohesion indicated convergent validity, with a correlation of the tools at r = 0.81. We conclude that the ACE-15 has acceptable psychometric properties and promising utility for assessing interprofessional teamness in clinical training sites that are settings for learners, and, in addition may be useful for team development.

Virginia P. Tilden
Elizabeth Eckstrom
Nathan F. Dieckmann