Assessing Perceptions of Teamwork Quality Among Perioperative Team Members

AORN J. 2018 Sep;108(3):251-262. doi: 10.1002/aorn.12343.


Successful surgery depends on collaboration and mutual trust among interdisciplinary team members. We compared teamwork quality as perceived by surgeons, anesthesia care providers, and perioperative nurses using two surveys in the same hospital. The general survey sent to the homes of the OR personnel revealed teamwork climate scores in the medium to high range. Attending surgeons were significantly more satisfied than perioperative nurses and resident surgeons; anesthesiologists were significantly more satisfied than perioperative nurses. A second single-item survey administered immediately after elective open abdominal surgical procedures also showed relatively high satisfaction with teamwork. Results of the second survey, however, showed that attending surgeons were significantly less satisfied than the members of all the other professions, and perioperative nurses were significantly more satisfied than the members of all the other professions. We conclude that general surveys about teamwork quality among members of surgical teams may not necessarily reflect teamwork quality during actual surgical procedures.

Keywords: interdisciplinary teamwork; job satisfaction; qualitative research; survey design.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Operating Rooms / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Perioperative Care / methods*