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On a Wing and a Prayer: An Assessment of Modularized Crew Resource Management Training for Health Care Professionals


  • Disclosures: The authors report this research was supported under Australian Research Council's Linkage Projects funding scheme (project number LP0775514) and National Health and Medical Research Council Program Grant 568612. Ethics committee approval for this project was given by the University of New South Wales Social/Health Research Human Research Ethics Advisory panel, approval number 09-10-006.



Evidence suggests that Crew Resource Management (CRM), a form of team training, is beneficial. In CRM training, participants learn individual portable team skills such as communication and decision making through group discussion and activities. However, the usual 1-day course format is not always compatible with health care organizational routines. A modular training format, while theoretically sound, is untested for interprofessional team training. The aim of this study was to explore the potential for modularized CRM training to be delivered to a group of interprofessional learners.


Modularized CRM training, consisting of two 2-hour workshops, was delivered to health care workers in an Australian tertiary hospital. Kirkpatrick's evaluation model provided a framework for the study. Baseline attitude surveys were conducted prior to each workshop. Participants completed a written questionnaire at the end of each workshop that examined their motivations, reactions to the training, and learner demographics. An additional survey, administered 6 weeks post training, captured self-assessed behavior data.


Twenty-three individuals from a range of professions and clinical streams participated. One in 5 participants (22%) reported that they translated teamwork skills to the workplace. While positive about the workshop format and content, many respondents identified personal, team, and organizational barriers to the application of the workshop techniques.


CRM training when delivered in a modular format has positive outcomes. Following the training, some respondents overcame workplace barriers to attempt to change negative workplace behavior. This progress provides cautious optimism for the potential for modular CRM training to benefit groups of interprofessional health staff.