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J Eval Clin Pract. 2012 Feb;18(1):93-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2010.01538.x. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Consensus on interprofessional collaboration in hospitals: statistical agreement of ratings from ethnographic fieldwork and measurement scales.

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1
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. kenaszchukc@smh.ca

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Few methods are available for analysing psychometric properties of combined qualitative and quantitative data. While conventional reliability of measures - meaning reproducibility or consistency - may not be meaningful in small-N research, in some health services studies agreement on perceptions arising from data generated by fieldwork and quantitative measures can be examined to good effect.

METHODS:

We studied interprofessional collaboration (IPC) in seven hospitals. An ethnographer shadowed and conducted interviews with regulated health professionals in medicine wards. Concurrently, nurses completed the nurse-doctor relations subscale of the Nursing Work Index (NWI-NDRS) and a new measurement scale for IPC with doctors in the domains of communication, accommodation, and isolation. After fieldwork, the ethnographer rank-ordered hospital sites on IPC from 1 to 7 based on interpretation of the qualitative data. Mean-scale scores were calculated for hospital sites and converted to ranks similarly. The Tinsley-Weiss T-index (Tinsley & Weiss, 1975) for agreement among rank orderings was calculated for dyadic combinations of fieldwork and measurement ranks.

RESULTS:

Perfect agreement was obtained for the most liberal agreement definitions considered - differences of two rank positions - involving qualitative data agreement with IPC subscales for accommodation and isolation. Defining agreement as a difference of 1 rank at most, the T-index was 0.77 for agreement between fieldworker and IPC accommodation and the same for NWI-NDRS and IPC isolation.

CONCLUSION:

Qualitative data from fieldwork rankings were substantially in accord with the contemporary IPC scales, less so with the NWI-NDRS. Qualitative data appear to be useful as an additional approach to confirming the validity of quantitative scale data in measuring a complex interpersonal relational construct.

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