Qual Saf Health Care 19:e25 doi:10.1136/qshc.2008.031732
  • Original research

Teamwork training with nursing and medical students: does the method matter? Results of an interinstitutional, interdisciplinary collaboration

  1. on behalf of the Interprofessional Patient Safety Education Collaborative
  1. 1UNC School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2UNC School of Nursing, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  3. 3Duke University School of Medicine and Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  4. 4UNC School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  5. 5Duke University Office of Patient Safety, Durham, North California, USA
  6. 6UNC Clinical Skills and Patient Simulation Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  7. 7Duke University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cherri Hobgood, UNC School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, CB 7594, UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA; hobgood{at}
  1. Contributors All authors conceived the project and contributed substantially to implementation. DH, MW and JT provided data and analysis. CH, DH, GS and KF drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to revisions and take responsibility for the manuscript as a whole.

  • Accepted 3 November 2009
  • Published Online First 27 April 2010


Objectives The authors conducted a randomised controlled trial of four pedagogical methods commonly used to deliver teamwork training and measured the effects of each method on the acquisition of student teamwork knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

Methods The authors recruited 203 senior nursing students and 235 fourth-year medical students (total N=438) from two major universities for a 1-day interdisciplinary teamwork training course. All participants received a didactic lecture and then were randomly assigned to one of four educational methods: didactic (control), audience response didactic, role play and human patient simulation. Student performance was assessed for teamwork attitudes, knowledge and skills using: (a) a 36-item teamwork attitudes instrument (CHIRP), (b) a 12-item teamwork knowledge test, (c) a 10-item standardised patient (SP) evaluation of student teamwork skills performance and (d) a 20-item modification of items from the Mayo High Performance Teamwork Scale (MHPTS).

Results All four cohorts demonstrated an improvement in attitudes (F1,370=48.7, p=0.001) and knowledge (F1,353=87.3, p=0.001) pre- to post-test. No educational modality appeared superior for attitude (F3,370=0.325, p=0.808) or knowledge (F3,353=0.382, p=0.766) acquisition. No modality demonstrated a significant change in teamwork skills (F3,18=2.12, p=0.134).

Conclusions Each of the four modalities demonstrated significantly improved teamwork knowledge and attitudes, but no modality was demonstrated to be superior. Institutions should feel free to utilise educational modalities, which are best supported by their resources to deliver interdisciplinary teamwork training.


  • The Interprofessional Patient Safety and Education Collaborative is an interdisciplinary, interinstitutional team focused on improving patient safety and team training education. Its members are: B Foster, B Goldstein, C Durham, C Mayer, C Grochowski, D Hollar, A Felix, G Sherwood, C Hobgood, D Woodyard, H Love, J Taekman, P Kinneer, K Frush, K Turner, L Cronenwett, M Holtschneider, M Wright, N Segall, C Osmond, V Kaprielian, S Sawning, L Maynard and S Promes.

  • Funding The Galaxo Smithkline Foundation Research Triangle Park Durham, North Carolina.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the UNC Health affairs IRB and Duke University Health Affairs IRB.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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