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The Team Climate Inventory: application in hospital teams and methodological considerations
  1. M Ouwens,
  2. M Hulscher,
  3. R Akkermans,
  4. R Hermens,
  5. R Grol,
  6. H Wollersheim
  1. Centre for Quality of Care Research, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  1. M Ouwens, Centre for Quality of Care Research (KWAZO 117), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; m.ouwens{at}


Objective: To test the validity, reliability and discriminating capacity of an instrument to assess team climate, the Team Climate Inventory (TCI), in a sample of Dutch hospital teams. The TCI is based on a four-factor theory of team climate for innovation.

Design: Validation study.

Setting: Hospital teams in The Netherlands.

Participants: 424 healthcare professionals; 355 nurses working in 22 nursing teams and 69 nurses and doctors working in 14 quality-improvement teams.

Main outcome measures: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, Pearson’s product moment correlations, internal homogeneity of the TCI scales based on Cronbach alpha, and the TCI capability to discriminate between two types of healthcare teams, namely nursing teams and quality-improvement teams.

Results: The validity test revealed the TCI’s five-factor structure and moderate data fit. The Cronbach alphas of the five scales showed acceptable reliabilities. The TCI discriminated between nursing teams and quality-improvement teams. The mean scores of quality-improvement teams were all significantly higher than those of the nursing teams.

Conclusion: Patient care teams are essential for high-quality patient care, and team climate is an important characteristic of successful teams. This study shows that the TCI is a valid, reliable and discriminating self-report measure of team climate in hospital teams. The TCI can be used as a quality-improvement tool or in quality-of-care research.

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  • Funding: Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands

  • Competing interests: None.