Team principles for successful interdisciplinary research teams
Brown S-A, Sparapani R, Osinski K, et al. Team principles for successful interdisciplinary research teams. American Heart Journal Plus: Cardiology Research and Practice. 2023;32:100306. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ahjo.2023.100306
Interdisciplinary research teams can be extremely beneficial when addressing difficult clinical problems. The incorporation of conceptual and methodological strategies from a variety of research disciplines and health professions yields transformative results. In this setting, the long-term goal of team science is to improve patient care, with emphasis on population health outcomes. However, team principles necessary for effective research teams are rarely taught in health professional schools. To form successful interdisciplinary research teams in cardio-oncology and beyond, guiding principles and organizational recommendations are necessary. Cardiovascular disease results in annual direct costs of $220 billion (about $680 per person in the US) and is the leading cause of death for cancer survivors, including adult survivors of childhood cancers. Optimizing cardio-oncology research in interdisciplinary research teams has the potential to aid in the investigation of strategies for saving hundreds of thousands of lives each year in the United States and mitigating the annual cost of cardiovascular disease. Despite published reports on experiences developing research teams across organizations, specialties and settings, there is no single journal article that compiles principles for cardiology or cardio-oncology research teams. In this review, recurring threads linked to working as a team, as well as optimal methods, advantages, and problems that arise when managing teams are described in the context of career development and research. The worth and hurdles of a team approach, based on practical lessons learned from establishing our multidisciplinary research team and information gleaned from relevant specialties in the development of a successful team are presented.