Transdisciplinary integration of electronic communication technology and nursing research

  • Meneses K
  • McNees P
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Electronic communication technologies are expanding at an exponential pace.1-15These advances are among the factors that have propelled the movement of many nursing research programs toward increasingly broad and complex endeavors.4,6-8,10,12,13,15-18Such projects typically require expertise drawn from an equally wide range of disciplines. Yet, there is no one protocol and few standard tools for incorporating such diverse expertise into a coherent research team focused on clearly defined and commonly understood objectives, goals, and outcomes. This article describes our experiences in transdisciplinary integration of electronic communication technology and nursing research, discusses tools and strategies to incorporate these technologies into nursing, and examines the vital lessons learned in the conduct of research in an electronic environment. As such, the specific research project that this technology supports will not be presented in this article. The transdisciplinary partnership grew out of the need to develop and implement the Fertility and Cancer Project, a funded research project whose aim was to educate and support breast cancer survivors with fertility concerns. All aspects of the research project were designed to be conducted in an electronic environment, thus creating the need to assimilate expertise from a wide range of disciplines. We used a familiar array of research strategies to develop the project content and evaluate validity, but also employed novel communication technology tactics including: (1) Personae Creation; (2) Layered Project Mapping©; and (3) Rapid Iterative Prototyping. It is the use of the traditional research methods combined with newer strategies and innovations that will be described in this article. © 2007 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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  • Karen Dow Meneses

  • Patrick McNees

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