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Review
, 18 (1), 146

A Systematic Review of Team-Building Interventions in Non-Acute Healthcare Settings

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Review

A Systematic Review of Team-Building Interventions in Non-Acute Healthcare Settings

Christopher J Miller et al. BMC Health Serv Res.

Abstract

Background: Healthcare is increasingly delivered in a team-based format emphasizing interdisciplinary coordination. While recent reviews have investigated team-building interventions primarily in acute healthcare settings (e.g. emergency or surgery departments), we aimed to systematically review the evidence base for team-building interventions in non-acute settings (e.g. primary care or rehabilitation clinics).

Methods: We conducted a systematic review in PubMed and Embase to identify team-building interventions, and conducted follow-up literature searches to identify articles describing empirical studies of those interventions. This process identified 14 team-building interventions for non-acute healthcare settings, and 25 manuscripts describing empirical studies of these interventions. We evaluated outcomes in four domains: trainee evaluations, teamwork attitudes/knowledge, team functioning, and patient impact.

Results: Trainee evaluations for team-building interventions were generally positive, but only one study associated team-building with statistically significant improvement in teamwork attitudes/knowledge. Similarly mixed results emerged for team functioning and patient impact.

Conclusions: The evidence base for healthcare team-building interventions in non-acute healthcare settings is much less developed than the parallel literature for short-term team function in acute care settings. Only one intervention we identified has been tested in multiple non-acute settings by distinct research teams. Positive findings regarding the utility of team-building interventions are tempered by a lack of control conditions, inconsistency in outcome measures, and high probability of bias. Considering these results alongside the well-recognized costs of poor healthcare teamwork suggests that additional research is sorely needed to develop the evidence base for team-building in non-acute settings.

Keywords: Non-acute; Team training; Team-building intervention; Teamwork.

Conflict of interest statement

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Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Team Effectiveness Pyramid (a conceptual model for non-acute healthcare team-building)
Figure 2
Figure 2
PRISMA Diagram (Modified)

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