Developing Research Collaborations in an Academic Clinical Setting: Challenges and Lessons Learned

John A. Sahs, Andel V. Nicasio, Joan E. Storey, Peter J. Guarnaccia, Roberto Lewis-Fernández

Publication Date: 08/01/2017

Research collaboration in “real world” practice settings may enhance the meaningfulness of the findings and reduce barriers to implementation of novel intervention strategies. This study describes an initiative to integrate research into a hospital-based outpatient psychiatric clinic within an academic medical center, focusing on collaborative processes across three research projects. We report on the varied outcomes of the projects and utilize data from two focus groups to identify the key elements that contributed to the challenges and successes. We identify barriers to practice-research collaborations that emerged even when the initial circumstances of the partnership were favorable. These barriers include the presence of varied agendas across clinicians and investigators, resource constraints, limited staff buy-in, and staff turnover. In highlighting the lessons learned in this collaborative process, we hope to facilitate successful partnerships in other clinical settings.