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J Eval Clin Pract. 2008 Apr;14(2):241-7. Epub 2007 Dec 13.

Once a week is not enough: evaluating current measures of teamworking in stroke.

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Department of Human Communication Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.



Stroke care has been at the forefront of the drive to deliver health care by teamworking in the UK. Teamworking is the subject of ongoing audit of stroke provision with measures such as a weekly team meeting being used to evaluate services. A qualitative study was recently undertaken to explore these evaluations and to gain further understanding of the processes underlying teamworking practice.


Three case study sites across the stroke care pathway were investigated using data collection methods of fieldwork observation, interviews and visual imagery. The data were coded and analysed in an inductive process in parallel to the data gathering.


It was found that teamworking practice was affected by organizational conditions, such as location of staff, time constraints, management structures and team contact. Other important aspects of teamworking related to the formation of subteams, decision-making processes, leadership, identification of goals, and training in teamworking.


It is suggested that additional measures of team functioning are required. This paper highlights the importance of the organizational background with the need to consider team size, accountability and changing group membership. It discusses the decision-making systems and the need to more fully consider the role and purpose of team meetings.

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