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Table 1 Descriptive studies

From: Interprofessional teamwork in the trauma setting: a scoping review



Research aim/question


Sample size


Anderson & Talsma, 2011 [31]


To determine how the operating room staffing of two surgical specialties compare in terms of social network variables

Examination of staffing data, using social network analysis

Data were collected from 4,356 general surgery cases and 1,645 neurosurgery cases

Team coreness was associated with length of case. Procedures starting later in the day were less likely to be staffed by a team with a high number of core members. RNs constituted the majority of core interdisciplinary team members

Arakelian et al., 2011 [25]


To study how organized surgical team members and their leaders understood operating room efficiency


11 (9 team members, 2 team leaders)

Seven ways of understanding operating room efficiency were identified

Cassera et al., 2009 [29]


Team size and effect on team performance

Retrospective case review

360 laparoscopic procedures

Mean team size was eight members. Surgeons and anesthesiologists were constant team members, while the OR nurses changed more than once in each procedure. Surgery complexity and team size significantly affected PT; adding one person to the team increased PT by 15.4 minutes

Cole & Crichton, 2005 [28]


To explore the culture of a trauma team in relation to the influence that human factors have over its performance


6 periods of observation and 11 semi-structured interviews

Leadership, role competence, conflict, communication, environment, and patient status all influenced the culture of the trauma team

Creswick et al., 2009 [32]


To use social network analysis to measure communication patterns and staff interactions within an ED

Social network survey and social network analysis

103 ED staff

Communication across the ED could be clearly understood in terms of three professional groups; interactions between individuals occurred mainly within professional groups

Gillespie et al., 2010 [24]


To extend understanding of the organizational and individual factors that influence teamwork in surgery

Grounded theory/interviews

16 OR staff (surgeons, anesthetists and nurses)

Three themes described interdisciplinary teamwork practice: 1) contribution of interdisciplinary diversity to complex interpersonal relations; 2) the influence of the organization; 3) education

Leach et al., 2009 [21]


To describe the nature of surgical teams and how they perform in the OR, in otder to contribute to a broader knowledge about high-performing teams and high-reliability teams in healthcare settings

Qualitative/observational study and interviews

Field observations of 10 high complexity surgeries

Coordination type and degree of independent and interdependent coordination varied between the observed stages (n = 7) of the surgical process. Teams were mainly ad hoc. Teams were challenged by ‘hand-offs’ and role demands that interfered with the adaptive capacity of the team

Surgeries and face-to-face interview with 26 team members

Lingard et al., 2004 [23]


An exploration of the interaction between ICU team members

Focus groups

Seven focus groups, each lasting 1 hour, with nurses, resident groups, and intensivist groups

Perception of ‘ownership’ and the process of ‘trade’ were mechanisms by which team collaboration was achieved or undermined

Sakran et al., 2012 [27]

Level 1 trauma center

To evaluate the relationship between the perception of leadership ability and efficiency of trauma patient care

Prospective observational study using a Campbell Leadership Descriptor Survey tool

81 leadership surveys collected from 22 separate trauma patient resuscitation encounters

The trauma teams perception of leadership was associated positively with clinical efficiency

Sarcevic et al., 2011 [26]


To identify leadership structures and the effects of cross-disciplinary leadership on trauma teamwork


100 hours of observations at 60 trauma resuscitation events, and 16 interviews with team members

Identified five leadership structures under two categories: 1) solo decision-making and intervening models within intradisciplinary leadership; and 2) intervening, parallel, and collaborative models within cross-disciplinary leadership

Weller et al., 2008 [22]


To improve patient safety by gaining an understanding of OR team interaction, and to identify strategies to improve the effectiveness of the anesthesia team

Qualitative study/interviews following simulation of anesthesia crises

20 telephone interviews

Limited understanding of roles and capabilities of team members, differing perceptions of roles and responsibilities, limited information-sharing between team members, and limited input among team members in decision-making

Zheng et al., 2012 [30]


Effect of surgical team size on team performance

Review of general surgery procedures over a 1 year period

Reviewed records of 587 procedures

Eight members per team on average. Half the team members were nurses. Surgery complexity and team size significantly affected PT; the addition of one team member predicted a 7 minute increase in PT

  1. OR, operating room; ED, Emergency department; ICU, intensive care unit; OD, operating department; RRT, rapid response team; LM, leadership and management; PT, procedure time.