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Benefits and losses: a qualitative study exploring healthcare staff perceptions of teamworking


Objectives: To examine staff perceptions of teamworking practice in the field of stroke care.

Design: Qualitative interview study.

Setting: Three teams providing care to patients with stroke across a typical care pathway of acute hospital ward, specialist stroke unit, and community rehabilitation.

Participants: 37 staff members from a range of professions.

Main outcome measures: Healthcare staff perceptions of teamworking.

Results: Through detailed coding and analysis of the transcripts, five perceptions regarding the impact of teamworking on staff and patients were identified. These were: (1) mutual staff support, (2) knowledge and skills sharing, (3) timely intervention/discharge, (4) reduced individual decision-making and responsibility and (5) impact on patient contact time.

Conclusions: Teamworking practice may be associated with a number of perceived benefits for staff and patient care; however, the potential for losses resulting from reduced patient contact time and ill-defined responsibility needs further investigation.

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