Improving interdisciplinary research through educational trading zones: A mixed methods approach to evaluating communication patterns between physicians and statisticians
The objective of this study was to perform a qualitative study to identify commonalities and differences in reasoning processes between these groups. A phenomenological qualitative study based on transcriptions of physicians and statisticians conceptualizing clinical cases and clinical research questions. Interviews were carried out with nine statisticians and sixteen physicians contacted virtually. The main outcome measures were emerging themes that were common to both expert groups. Both groups used conceptual models -although different models- during their reasoning processes, but their concepts were not common between the groups complicating the exchange of information. Both groups were unaware that their specialty language was frequently inaccessible to non-specialists or specialists from other fields, which leads to communication difficulties. These difficulties were broadly classified into translational problems of field-specific terms and concepts. Field-specific terms would sometimes lead to misinterpretations while the translation of field-specific concepts often leads to content loss. The use of field-specific terms and concepts can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. Teams would benefit from taxonomies containing terms that can be understood by specialists from both disciplines
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