Interprofessional Healthcare Teams: Inquiry into Performativity Using Applied Theatre

  • Author / Creator
    Sommerfeldt, Susan C.
  • My investigation lives in the borderlands of health sciences research where inquiry, nursing and healthcare practices intersect in inter-disciplinary spaces. The relational aspects of nurses and other healthcare practitioners working together with patients is the area of my inquiry into the performance of teams using applied theatre. Having a non-positivist orientation, this collaborative research is based on the realities of healthcare providers engaged in teams. Participation undergirds arts-based methodologies under which applied theatre is theoretically grounded. The research is consistent with an open inquiry stance. Reviewed literature is threaded throughout as considerations of the topic, methodology, ethics and analysis arise. Beginning with my own story, I invite the reader into the context of my pursuit of the we in interprofessional healthcare team. A narrative introduces the idea of a performative we that becomes the frame of multiple questions to address my primary research question, “What is the relational work of interprofessional healthcare teams?” Interprofessionalism is being intentionally expanded throughout healthcare in response to economic, human resource and patient safety conditions needing to be addressed and such attention is encouraged by the World Health Organization. It is also the focus of practitioners and researchers in expanding networks interested and involved in interprofessionalism throughout the world. Healthcare team’s work and processes are essential components to consider in exploring relationships of individuals brought together interprofessionally to form the team. In this research, healthcare providers participated in co-creating knowledge and understandings about interprofessional healthcare teams through applied theatre research methods using forum theatre to identify struggles in team practices. Performativity, seen as both phenomena and methodology, offered exploration of ways in being a team that are theorized through Pickering’s theory of the Mangle of Practice. Building knowledge with a performative perspective where both humans and non-human agency has a bearing on practices, opens dialogue about the strands of practice situated in what Pickering calls the mangle of practice. The strands of organizational influences, accomplishing tasks and an orientation toward care, became apparent as components of the mangle through crafting scenes of a play using forum theatre methods. Acknowledging sociomateriality in interprofessional interactions has a bearing on team practices. Identifying points of struggle by engaging in forum theatre processes, participants pursued a deeper understanding of struggles with structures in healthcare and teamwork, struggles in having competing attentions, and struggles within their own practices. The outcome of my inquiry makes explicit some of the processes, beliefs and actions that constitute teamwork in healthcare. Employing methods within a participatory approach and performative methodology aligns the inquiry with the nature of the human interactions and performativity that contribute to team performance and ultimately, teamwork.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Faculty of Nursing
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Caine, Vera (Nursing)
    • Molzahn, Anita (Nursing)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Taylor, Elizabeth (Rehabilitation Medicine)
    • Conrad, Diane (Education)
    • Fenwick, Tara (Education, University of Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom)
    • Cameron, Brenda (Nursing)
    • Santos, Anna (Nursing)