Setting goals, not just roles: Improving teamwork through goal-focused debriefing

Am J Surg. 2017 Feb;213(2):249-252. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2016.09.040. Epub 2016 Oct 8.


Introduction: The role of goal setting within post-simulation debriefing is not well known. This study sought to examine how inclusion of group-level goals, individual-level goals, or no goals in the debriefing process impacts teamwork.

Methods: Students participated in two high-fidelity team training scenarios. Between scenarios, teams were assigned to one of three debriefing groups: jointly creating five teamwork goals for the group to achieve (group-level goals); independently creating five teamwork goals for each individual to attain (individual-level goals); or no goals. Paired-samples t tests and one-way ANOVA with post-hoc Tukey tests were used to examine performance improvements and differences between groups.

Results: 86 MS3s participated in the training program across 22 groups. Percentage of items achieved on the teamwork tool from first to second scenario were 61.7±20.4 to 60.2±8.8 (no goals; ns), 59.8±14.0 to 76.8±7.0 (individual goals; p<0.01), and 62.5±9.5 to 67.0±10.0 (group goals; ns). Performance improvement in the individual goals group was significantly higher than the no goals group (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Debriefing facilitators should encourage learners to focus on creating and achieving personal goals contributing to teamwork.

Keywords: Debriefing; Goals; Simulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feedback*
  • Female
  • Goals*
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Simulation Training*