Should they stay or should they go now? Exploring the impact of team familiarity on interprofessional team training outcomes

Am J Surg. 2018 Feb;215(2):243-249. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2017.08.048. Epub 2017 Nov 4.


Introduction: Although simulation is an effective method for enhancing team competencies, it is unclear how team familiarity impacts this process. We examined how team familiarity impacted team competencies.

Methods: Trainees were assigned to stable or dynamic teams to participate in three simulated cases. Situation awareness (SA) data was collected through in-scenario freezes. The recorded performances were assessed for clinical effectiveness (ClinEff) and teamwork. All data are reported on a 1-100% (100% = perfect performance) scale.

Results: Forty-six trainees (23 General Surgery; 23 Emergency Medicine) were randomized by specialty into stable (N = 8) or dynamic (N = 7) groups. Overall changes from Sim 1 to Sim3 were 12.2% (p < 0.01), -1.1% (ns), and 7.1% (p < 0.01) for SA, ClinEff, and Teamwork, respectively. However, improvements differed by condition, with stable teams reflecting improvements in ClinEff (15.2%; p < 0.05), whereas dynamic team ClinEff improvement (8.7%) was not significant. Both groups demonstrated improvements in teamwork (stable = 9%, p < 0.05; dynamic = 4.9%, p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Teams who continued to work together demonstrated increased improvements in clinical effectiveness and teamwork, while dynamic teams only demonstrated improvements in teamwork.

Keywords: Dynamic; Situation awareness; Stable; Team familiarity; Team training; Teams; Teamwork.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Awareness
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Emergency Medicine / education*
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Simulation Training*
  • United States