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