Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
O'Connor, P; O'Dea, A; Lydon, S; Offiah, G; Scott, J; Flannery, A; Lang, B; Hoban, A; Armstrong, C; Byrne, D.
International Journal For Quality In Health Care
A mixed-methods study of the causes and impact of poor teamwork between junior doctors and nurses
In Press
Optional Fields
Objectives: This study aimed to collect and analyse examples of poor teamwork between junior doctors and nurses; identify the teamwork failures contributing to poor team function; and ascertain if particular teamwork failures are associated with higher levels of risk to patients. Design: Critical Incident Technique interviews were carried out with junior doctors and nurses. Setting: Two teaching hospitals in the Republic of Ireland. Participants: Junior doctors (n = 28) and nurses (n = 8) provided descriptions of scenarios of poor teamwork. The interviews were coded against a theoretical framework of healthcare team function by three psychologists and were also rated for risk to patients by four doctors and three nurses. Results: A total of 33 of the scenarios met the inclusion criteria for analysis. A total of 63.6% (21/33) of the scenarios were attributed to ‘poor quality of collaboration’, 42.4% (14/33) to ‘poor leadership’ and 48.5% (16/33) to a ‘lack of coordination’. A total of 16 scenarios were classified as high risk and 17 scenarios were classified as medium risk. Significantly more of the high-risk scenarios were associated with a ‘lack of a shared mental model’ (62.5%, 10/16) and ‘poor communication’ (50.0%, 8/16) than the medium-risk scenarios (17.6%, 3/17 and 11.8%, 2/17, respectively). Conclusion: Poor teamwork between junior doctors and nurses is common and places patients at considerable risk. Addressing this problem requires a well-designed complex intervention to develop the team skills of doctors and nurses and foster a clinical environment in which teamwork is supported.
Grant Details
Publication Themes
Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy