Multidisciplinary research is characterised by two or more disciplines coming together to address the same issue or area of interest from their respective paradigms. Interdisciplinary research arguably moves several steps further to bring two or more distinct academic fields together, integrating theory, methodology, terminology and/or data to address critical and complex health issues (National Institutes of Health, 2007). A range of environmental, group and individual factors have been found to influence interdisciplinary working including organisational commitment, availability of resources, effective communication, strong leadership, mutual trust between partners, flexibility in addition to specific scholarly competencies (Aboelala et al., 2007; Gebbie et al., 2008). Porter et al., (2012) describe the correlation between funded interdisciplinary networking and scholarly impact noting that research articles arising from interdisciplinary research are more likely to be published in high impact journals and be highly cited.
This paper aims to provide a high-level overview of the highlights and challenges to adopting an interdisciplinary research approach in palliative care drawing on Irish, European and international experiences.
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