Is the juice worth the squeeze? Transdisciplinary team science in bladder health

Kathryn H. Schmitz, Tamara Bavendam, Sonya S. Brady, Siobhan Sutcliffe, Emily Lukacz, Janis M. Miller, Bernard L. Harlow, Kyle Rudser, Aimee James, Kathryn Burgio, Diane Newman, Mary H. Palmer, Linda I. Brubaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aims: Prior research on lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) has focused on the treatment and management of these conditions with scant attention to prevention. The Prevention of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (PLUS) Research Consortium was formed to address the complexities of preventing LUTS and promoting bladder health. Methods: Herein, we describe challenges faced and strategies used to develop the PLUS Research Consortium into an engaged and productive transdisciplinary scientific team. We apply four previously defined team science phases (development, conceptualization, implementation, and translation) to frame our progress. Results: Strategies to progress through the development phase included the generation of a shared mission, and valuing of other disciplinary perspectives. The conceptualization phase included generating a shared language and developing a team transdisciplinary orientation. During the implementation phase, the group developed roles and procedures and focused on conflict management. The translation phase includes continued refinement of the mission and goals, implementation of research protocols, and robust dissemination of the scientific work products related to bladder health. Conclusion: A diverse group has matured into a productive transdisciplinary team science consortium. Achieving this outcome required dedicated effort for each member to engage in activities that often required more time than single discipline research activities. Provision of the necessary time and tools has fostered a transdisciplinary team science culture and rich research agenda that reflects the complexity of the health issue to be addressed. Our experience may be useful for others embarking on team science projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1601-1611
Number of pages11
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by cooperative agreements [grants U01 DK106786, U01 DK106853, U01 DK106858, U01 DK106898, U01 DK106893, U01 DK106827, U01 DK106908, U01 DK106892].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC


  • cooperative behavior
  • interdisciplinary communication
  • lower urinary tract symptoms
  • organizational objectives
  • problem-solving
  • research activities
  • transdisciplinary


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