Development and Validation of the Readiness To Collaborate Scale (RCS)
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A gap in the literature has been identified regarding the lack of available measurement tools and approaches to measure and/or assess the readiness of post-licensure healthcare practitioners to participate effectively in an interprofessional collaborative team. This study suggests that testing the readiness to collaborate of an individual practitioner to participate in an interprofessional team ultimately may support the creation of a high-functioning and successful team. In order to assist in this process, a new instrument has been developed and validated. Content, construct and criterion validation was done to answer the research questions that included: 1. What questions can be used to identify the readiness of a post-licensure health care provider to enter into an interprofessional team? 2. Can readiness to collaborate be measured under three distinct factors: interprofessional collaboration, communication and trust? 3. Will a group that has demonstrated excellence in interprofessional teaming, show higher scores in interprofessional collaboration, communication and trust versus a group that is considered lower functioning? Content validation was done with a group of low-risk obstetrical providers (n=9) in Phase I. Phase II – Construct Validation included a group of low-risk obstetrical providers from BC Women and Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and the IWK in Halifax (n=140). Through Principal Component Analysis, four factors were discovered: Readiness for Interprofessional Collaboration, Communication, Trust and Reluctance to Collaborate. This last factor, Reluctance to Collaborate, was not anticipated and emerged during the factor analysis. Finally, Borrill’s (2001) five questions to determine high and low functioning teams were used for the criterion validation. A t-Test to determine significant difference was completed and p values indicated there was a difference between scores of those who were high functioning versus those who were low functioning demonstrating that the Readiness to Collaborate Scale (RCS) can identify those who are ready to participate in an interprofessional team, and those who are not. The identification of practitioner’s readiness should help to support capacity building and sustainability of effective interprofessional teams. The Readiness to Collaborate Scale with 41 validated questions is now ready to test individual readiness to collaborate in an interprofessional team.