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Efficacy beliefs predict collaborative practice among intensive care unit nurses


P.M. Le Blanc: e-mail:


le blanc p.m., schaufeli w.b., salanova m., llorens s. & nap r.e. (2010) Efficacy beliefs predict collaborative practice among intensive care unit nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(3), 583–594.


Aim.  This paper is a report of an investigation of whether intensive care nurses’ efficacy beliefs predict future collaborative practice, and to test the potential mediating role of team commitment in this relationship.

Background.  Recent empirical studies in the field of work and organizational psychology have demonstrated that (professional) efficacy beliefs are reciprocally related to workers’ resources and well-being over time, resulting in a positive gain spiral. Moreover, there is ample evidence that workers’ affective commitment to their organization or work-team is related to desirable work behaviours such as citizenship behaviour.

Methods.  A longitudinal design was applied to questionnaire data from the EURICUS-project. Structural Equation Modelling was used to analyse the data. The sample consisted of 372 nurses working in 29 different European intensive care units. Data were collected in 1997 and 1998. However, our research model deals with fundamental psychosocial processes that are not time-dependent. Moreover, recent empirical literature shows that there is still room for improvement in ICU collaborative practice.

Results.  The hypotheses that (i) the relationship between efficacy beliefs and collaborative practice is mediated by team commitment and (ii) efficacy beliefs, team commitment and collaborative practice are reciprocally related were supported, suggesting a potential positive gain spiral of efficacy beliefs.

Conclusion.  Healthcare organizations should create working environments that provide intensive care unit nurses with sufficient resources to perform their job well. Further research is needed to design and evaluate interventions for the enhancement of collaborative practice in intensive care units.