Explaining variation in perceived team effectiveness: results from eleven quality improvement collaboratives

J Clin Nurs. 2013 Jun;22(11-12):1692-706. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2012.04120.x. Epub 2012 May 22.


Aims and objectives: Explore effectiveness of 11 collaboratives focusing on 11 different topics, as perceived by local improvement teams and to explore associations with collaborative-, organisational- and team-level factors.

Background: Evidence underlying the effectiveness of quality improvement collaboratives is inconclusive and few studies investigated determinants of implementation success. Moreover, most evaluation studies on quality improvement collaboratives are based on one specific topic or quality problem, making it hard to compare across collaboratives addressing different topics.

Design: A multiple-case cross-sectional study.

Methods: Quality improvement teams in 11 quality improvement collaboratives focusing on 11 different topics. Team members received a postal questionnaire at the end of each collaborative. Of the 283 improvement teams, 151 project leaders and 362 team members returned the questionnaire.

Results: Analysis of variance revealed that teams varied widely on perceived effectiveness. Especially, members in the Prevention of Malnutrition and Prevention of Medication Errors collaboratives perceived a higher effectiveness than other groups. Multilevel regression analyses showed that educational level of professionals, innovation attributes, organisational support, innovative culture and commitment to change were all significant predictors of perceived effectiveness. In total, 27·9% of the individual-level variance, 57·6% of the team-level variance and 80% of the collaborative-level variance could be explained.

Conclusion: The innovation's attributes, organisational support, an innovative team culture and professionals' commitment to change are instrumental to perceived effectiveness. The results support the notion that a layered approach is necessary to achieve improvements in quality of care and provides further insight in the determinants of success of quality improvement collaboratives.

Relevance to clinical practice: Understanding which factors enhance the impact of quality improvement initiatives can help professionals to achieve breakthrough improvement in care delivery to patients on a wide variety of quality problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Team / standards*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires