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Med Teach. 2009 Jan;31(1):30-8. doi: 10.1080/01421590802070853.

Assessing teamwork in medical education and practice: relating behavioural teamwork ratings and clinical performance.

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Anesthesiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



Problems with communication and team coordination are frequently linked to adverse events in medicine. However, there is little experimental evidence to support a relationship between observer ratings of teamwork skills and objective measures of clinical performance.


Our main objective was to test the hypothesis that observer ratings of team skill will correlate with objective measures of clinical performance.


Nine teams of medical students were videotaped performing two types of teamwork tasks: (1) low fidelity classroom-based patient assessment and (2) high fidelity simulated emergent care. Observers used a behaviourally anchored rating scale to rate each individual on skills representative of assertiveness, decision-making, situation assessment, leadership, and communication. A checklist-based measure was used to assess clinical team performance.


Moderate to high inter-observer correlations and moderate correlations between cases established the validity of a behaviourally anchored team skill rating tool for simulated emergent care. There was moderate to high correlation between observer ratings of team skill and checklist-based measures of team performance for the simulated emergent care cases (r = 0.65, p = 0.06 and r = 0.97, p < 0.0001).


These results provide prospective evidence of a positive relationship between observer ratings of team skills and clinical team performance in a simulated dynamic health care task.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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