This objective is formulated to test the authors' hypothesis that the conventional learning environment does not promote positive students' attitude to collaborative practices by reinforcing the traditional disciplinary stereotypes. Another objective is to use the study findings in designing more effective (specifically in terms of timing and content) interprofessional curriculum in clinical practicums. However, the most important objective is formulated later in the study: "The point of this exploratory study was to identify effective means of analysing an IP environment" (p.38).
b) Methodological framework employed by the authors for their study implies a combined or multimethod approach which includes both quantitative and qualitative methods, though the qualitative component seems to dominate. Perhaps, such combination of different research methods is employed to reinforce validity and reliability of the findings: the authors attempt to take advantage of the strengths of each method using them in such a way to compensate for limitations of each other.
The context and objectives of the research suggests that using the qualitative methodology is absolutely justified. Firstly, the researchers express an interest in understanding the experiences perceived by the participants of their study and emphasize the context in which the perceptions take place. Secondly, the study is supposed to involves in-depth exploration of the issue with the authors requiring from the participants as comprehensive information as possible. Thirdly, the nature of findings revealed by Russell and colleagues suggests that the researchers have sought for deep understanding and meaning. Qualitative methodology provides the tools to fulfil all these tasks.
On the other hand, the authors formulate a valid hypothesis to be tested, and in such cases quantitative methods are more appropriate. Quantitative approach, which implies use of standardized questionnaires and methods of data analysis, specific position of the researcher (considered external to the research), and replicability of the results regardless of the context has been traditionally considered to be more objective than its qualitative counterpart (Wainer and Braun, 1998). However, applicability of quantitative methods in health research is limited due to the so-called 'decontextualization' phenomenon: models built using data obtained through quantitative methods do not take into account certain variables that act in the real world context (Patton, 1987). This limitation particularly applies to the study under review. Therefore, the authors' choice of combined methodology is reasonable and justified.
2. a) The data obtained via surveying and interviewing are different in nature: consequently, the nature of findings is different as well. The surveys help the authors determine the relationship between certain variables of interest. In particular, Russell and colleagues cite the following results:
No considerable cross-unit or cross-discipline differences in overall survey results;
Physicians and students scored higher on the physician centrality scale than other health professionals participating in the survey.
Based on these