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Review
, 57 (24), 2381-8

Teamwork and Leadership in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

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Review

Teamwork and Leadership in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Sabina Hunziker et al. J Am Coll Cardiol.

Abstract

Despite substantial efforts to make cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) algorithms known to healthcare workers, the outcome of CPR has remained poor during the past decades. Resuscitation teams often deviate from algorithms of CPR. Emerging evidence suggests that in addition to technical skills of individual rescuers, human factors such as teamwork and leadership affect adherence to algorithms and hence the outcome of CPR. This review describes the state of the science linking team interactions to the performance of CPR. Because logistical barriers make controlled measurement of team interaction in the earliest moments of real-life resuscitations challenging, our review focuses mainly on high-fidelity human simulator studies. This technique allows in-depth investigation of complex human interactions using precise and reproducible methods. It also removes variability in the clinical parameters of resuscitation, thus letting researchers study human factors and team interactions without confounding by clinical variability from resuscitation to resuscitation. Research has shown that a prolonged process of team building and poor leadership behavior are associated with significant shortcomings in CPR. Teamwork and leadership training have been shown to improve subsequent team performance during resuscitation and have recently been included in guidelines for advanced life support courses. We propose that further studies on the effects of team interactions on performance of complex medical emergency interventions such as resuscitation are needed. Future efforts to better understand the influence of team factors (e.g., team member status, team hierarchy, handling of human errors), individual factors (e.g., sex differences, perceived stress), and external factors (e.g., equipment, algorithms, institutional characteristics) on team performance in resuscitation situations are critical to improve CPR performance and medical outcomes of patients.

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