Session: Collaborative Interprofessional Research: An Opportunity for Social Work Leadership (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

118 Collaborative Interprofessional Research: An Opportunity for Social Work Leadership

Friday, January 18, 2019: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Continental Parlor 7, Ballroom Level (Hilton San Francisco)
Cluster: Health (H)
Shari Miller, PhD, University of Georgia, Lisa S. Panisch, MSW, University of Texas at Austin, Kristin Bolton, PhD, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Barbara Jones, PhD, University of Texas at Austin and David McLeod, University of Oklahoma
Collaboration has been woven into the fabric of social work since the profession's inception. It remains a dynamic construct with shifting applications responsive to ever-changing environmental, social, political, and economic contexts. Collaboration consistently and reflexively informs the thinking, doing, and being aspects of professional identity, permeates social work education, and translates out into practice and research. As researchers and scholars approach the Grand Challenges of the 21st century world it is clear that effective models for collaborative, innovative, and social justice-informed problem-solving are essential. Collaboration as a construct is conceptually diffuse, allowing for a variety of perspectives to inform its application in research, education, and practice. Among these constructs (e.g., inter- multi- and trans-disciplinary), interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional collaborative practice (ICP) have, particularly among the allied health disciplines, seen a strong resurgence of interest, development, and application, accompanied by a growing body of empirical support.

Social work has made essential contributions to IPE and ICP, predominately in healthcare. With historic dedication to solving complex social problems through collaborative, person-centered, social justice oriented approaches, the profession is well-positioned to assume a transformational leadership role in interprofessional research; this is a critically important next step. While interprofessional research (IPR) is occurring in an effort to grapple with the complex challenges of the 21st century, like the global health crisis, models for IPR have not yet been well defined. When highlighted in the literature, IPR is often located in discussions of Team Science. The language of science itself is informed by epistemological assumptions that do not capture the full range and complexity of IPR; it also delimits the extent to which social justice informs and is informed by this research. The Team Science definition is a useful point of departure, however given the critical importance of interprofessional efforts, it is essential to articulate a clear framework to inform IPR that distinguishes it as a construct, and provides a pragmatic foundation for shared understanding and application.

This round table session will prompt dialogue regarding the essential role of, and opportunities for social work in interprofessional research. Presenters will offer findings from their scoping study of the literature which yielded a notable gap in how IPR is defined; the literature reflects interchangeable and muddy use of concepts, and a lack of clarity or shared understanding of what IPR is. In an effort to begin to fill this gap, presenters will share a conceptual framework for IPR, informed by interprofessional education and interprofessional collaborative practice. Presenters will facilitate discussions premised in applications for, and implications of the proposed framework, as well as invite participants to consider social work's transformational leadership role in defining and framing a socially just way forward. They will provide applied examples of IPR to launch a dialogue among participants to stimulate thinking, and promote a different kind of understanding about the challenges and essential opportunities associated with IPR. Participants will be invited to consider if and how the IPR framework can catalyze opportunities for their own collaborative approaches to research.

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