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

  • Author(s): Schmitz, Kathryn H;
  • Bavendam, Tamara;
  • Brady, Sonya S;
  • Brubaker, Linda;
  • Burgio, Kathryn;
  • Harlow, Bernard L;
  • James, Aimee;
  • Lukacz, Emily S;
  • Miller, Janis M;
  • Newman, Diane K;
  • Palmer, Mary H;
  • Rudser, Kyle;
  • Sutcliffe, Siobhan;
  • Prevention of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (PLUS) Research Consortium
  • et al.

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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.


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.


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.


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.

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