Helping healthcare teams save lives during COVID-19: Insights and countermeasures from team science

Am Psychol. 2021 Jan;76(1):1-13. doi: 10.1037/amp0000750. Epub 2020 Oct 29.


As the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the United States, health care teams are on the frontlines of this global crisis, often navigating harrowing conditions at work, such as a lack of personal protective equipment and staffing shortages, and distractions at home, including worries about elderly relatives or making childcare arrangements. While the nature and severity of stressors impacting health care teams are in many ways unprecedented, decades of psychological research exploring teamwork in extreme contexts can provide insights to understand and improve outcomes for teams in a crisis. This review highlights the psychological principles that apply to teams in a crisis and illustrates how psychologists can use this knowledge to improve teamwork for medical teams in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic., The review also provides a glimpse toward the future, noting both how psychologists can help health care teams recover and rebound, as well as how additional research can improve psychologists' understanding of teamwork in times of crisis. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Stress / prevention & control*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Personnel, Hospital / psychology*