Team science as interprofessional collaborative research practice: a systematic review of the science of team science literature
The National Institute of Health's concept of team science is a means of addressing complex clinical problems by applying conceptual and methodological approaches from multiple disciplines and health professions. The ultimate goal is the improved quality of care of patients with an emphasis on better population health outcomes. Collaborative research practice occurs when researchers from >1 health-related profession engage in scientific inquiry to jointly create and disseminate new knowledge to clinical and research health professionals in order to provide the highest quality of patient care to improve population health outcomes. Training of clinicians and researchers is necessary to produce clinically relevant evidence upon which to base patient care for disease management and empirically guided team-based patient care. In this study, we hypothesized that team science is an example of effective and impactful interprofessional collaborative research practice. To assess this hypothesis, we examined the contemporary literature on the science of team science (SciTS) produced in the past 10 years (2005–2015) and related the SciTS to the overall field of interprofessional collaborative practice, of which collaborative research practice is a subset. A modified preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) approach was employed to analyze the SciTS literature in light of the general question: Is team science an example of interprofessional collaborative research practice? After completing a systematic review of the SciTS literature, the posed hypothesis was accepted, concluding that team science is a dimension of interprofessional collaborative practice.