More to teamwork than knowledge, skill and attitude


Dr D Siassakos, Women’s Health, Chilterns, Southmead Hospital, Westbury on Trym, Bristol BS10 5NB, UK.


Please cite this paper as: Siassakos D, Draycott T, Crofts J, Hunt L, Winter C, Fox R. More to teamwork than knowledge, skill and attitude. BJOG 2010;117:1262–1269.

Objective  To assess whether team performance in simulated eclampsia is related to the knowledge, skills and attitudes of individual team members.

Design  Cross-sectional analysis of data from the Simulation and Fire Drill Evaluation randomised controlled trial.

Setting  Six secondary and tertiary maternity units in south-west England.

Participants  One hundred and fourteen maternity professionals in 19 teams of six members; one senior and one junior obstetrician; two senior and two junior midwives.

Methods  We validated a team performance ranking scheme with respect to magnesium administration (Magnesium Administration Rank, MAR) by expert consensus (face validity) and correlation with clinical measures (construct validity). We tested for correlation between MAR and measures of knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Main outcome measures  Correlation between team performance (MAR) and scores in validated multiple-choice questionnaires (MCQs) (knowledge), a measure of individual manual skill to manage an obstetric emergency (skill) and scores in a widely used teamwork/safety attitude questionnaire (attitude).

Results  There was no relationship between team performance and cumulative individual MCQs, skill or teamwork/safety attitude scores.

Conclusions  The knowledge, manual skills and attitudes of the individuals comprising each team, measured by established methods, did not correlate in this study with the team’s clinical efficiency in the management of simulated eclampsia. The inference is that unidentified characteristic(s) play a crucial part in the efficiency of teams managing emergencies. Any emphasis of training programmes to promote individual knowledge, skills and attitudes alone may have to be re-examined. This highlights a need to understand what makes a team efficient in dealing with clinical emergencies.