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A failure of function: Teamwork in primary health care

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1997
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Journal number2
Volume11
Number of pages12
Pages205-216
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The objective of this research was to explore the extent of teamworking in primary health care in the UK and compare primary health care teams with other multidisciplinary teams on fundamental critieria of team functioning. A survey was conducted, using a validated questionnaire which measures four aspects of team climate: participation, shared objectives, task orientation and support for innovation. Sixty-eight primary health care teams participated in the questionnaire survey, with additional comparison data from: 24 oil company teams; 27 NHS management teams; 20 community mental health teams; 40 social services teams. The total number of respondents across three samples was 1,555. Main outcome measures were levels of team participation, support for innovation, task orientation and clarity of, and commitment to, team objectives. Primary health care teams scored significantly lower than other teams in the sample on all team functioning factors except task orientation. It is concluded that a restructuring of the organization of primary health care is required if primary health care teams are to develop clear shared objectives to facilitate the coordinated approach to the delivery of care, long urged by practitioners and policy makers.