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Interdisciplinary Research Training in Substance Abuse and Addictions

Thompson, Elaine Adams PhD, MA, RN

doi: 10.1097/JAN.0b013e3182876811
Original Articles

Considerable evidence shows that the management of complex problems of and related to substance abuse and addictions require comprehensive approaches based on solid research. Nonetheless, timely and widespread dissemination of research findings remains uncommon, hindering nursing practice, impeding the health of individuals and families, and imposing untoward costs for society. Shifts in science paradigms underscore the need for efficient and effective interdisciplinary research teams to carry out innovative research within a translational science framework. This means that early career investigators will need the knowledge and skills to conduct research as part of an interdisciplinary team and to contribute systematically to translational research in the area of substance abuse and addictions. This brief report describes a nursing research training program sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that evolved into an interdisciplinary program administrated within a school of nursing. Factors conducive to program development are described, along with the structure and elements of the program and examples of the scholars’ projects and accomplishments. The common benefits of interdisciplinary research training for both predoctoral and postdoctoral research scholars include consistent exposure to new and alternative scientific models and methodological approaches as well as endurance of cross-discipline network connections. Benefits and challenges of this program carry implications for the design of future nursing research training programs in the field of substance abuse and addictions.

University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle.

The predoctoral and postdoctoral research training program described in this brief report was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (5 T32 DA007257).

The author reports no conflict of interest. The author alone is responsible for the content and writing of the article.

Correspondence related to content to: Elaine Adams Thompson, PhD, MA, RN, University of Washington, Box 357263, Seattle, WA 98195-7263. E-mail:

© 2013International Nurses Society on Addictions
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