Developing a Self Report Measure of Health Care Team Functioning Emphasing Collaboration
This paper was originally published in the Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Interdisciplinary Health Team Care Conference, which took place September 21-23, 1989 at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. It is reproduced here with the permission of the authors.
Numerous professionals have written for many years about the advantages of health care teams as a way of delivering various kinds of health care such as rehabilitative care, primary care and geriatric care. However, serious study of the processes and outcomes of team health care delivery has been slow to develop. Recently, especially in geriatrics, there has been an increase in the number of better designed studies of the effectiveness of team care delivery. Some of these studies show improvement of patient care with use of teams, while others do not. In this outcome research the team intervention has almost always been treated as a nominal variable; one team is compared to the no-team condition.
However, teams vary, as other ongoing work groups do, in the quality of their functioning. Since team studies have employed only one team as the intervention, it has not been possible to assess the relationship between the quality of team functioning and outcomes. Variation in quality of team functioning from one study to another may account for the differences in the reported effects of team intervention. In order to design studies where this relationship can be examined, valid and reliable instruments for measuring team functioning need to be developed.