Enhancing communication in surgery through team training interventions: a systematic literature review

AORN J. 2010 Dec;92(6):642-57. doi: 10.1016/j.aorn.2010.02.015.


In surgery, up to 70% of adverse events are attributable to failures in communication. The purpose of this systematic literature review was to critically assess the results of team training interventions used in the OR. In the 12 studies that met the inclusion criteria, there were statistically significant before-and-after improvements in teamwork practices and in some secondary outcomes such as complication rates. Our findings suggest that team training interventions have utility in enhancing team communication and cohesion. Team training interventions that are developed in response to the nuances of the context are more likely to become embedded in clinical practice. The introduction of more complex interventions has implications for resources and staffing. Further research is needed to identify and evaluate strategies that address the sustainability of complex team training interventions across multiple OR contexts.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative* / adverse effects