Objective: Effective teamwork is critical to patient safety across multiple healthcare settings. However, current observational tools assessing teamwork performance tend to be developed for specific settings or tasks and do not capture temporal features of interaction. This study aimed to develop a valid and reliable observational teamwork behaviour framework, which is based on healthcare practice, applicable across a variety of healthcare contexts and can be used to capture temporal team dynamics. Methods: Team interactions were audio-visually recorded during routine simulation training at two large clinical education centres specialising in physical and mental healthcare. The framework was based on theoretical models of teamwork and was developed in three steps: 1-micro analysis of verbal and nonverbal behaviour during recorded scenarios (n = 20); 2-iterative test and refine cycles; 3-final behavioural framework applied to a cohort of acute emergency scenarios (n = 9) by two raters to assess inter-rater agreement. Results: The framework contains twenty-three specific verbal and nonverbal behaviours that can be identified during observations. Behaviours are grouped conceptually based on their function resulting in thirteen behavioural functions, which cluster into five overarching teamwork domains. Inter-rater agreement was excellent (Cohen's Kappa = .84, SE = 0.03). Conclusion: We present a valid and reliable behavioural framework, grounded in teamwork theory and empirical observations of clinical team behaviour. This framework enables analysis of the nuances and temporal features of clinical practice in depth and across a wide range of clinical contexts and settings. Use of this framework will advance our understanding of teamworking in healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102915
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Communication
  • Human factors
  • Observational analysis
  • Patient safety
  • Teamwork


Dive into the research topics of 'An evidence based framework for the Temporal Observational Analysis of Teamwork in healthcare settings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this