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Open Access Systematic review

Measuring team factors thought to influence the success of quality improvement in primary care: a systematic review of instruments

Sue E Brennan1*, Marije Bosch2, Heather Buchan3 and Sally E Green1

Author Affiliations

1 School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

2 Central Clinical School, Monash University and National Trauma Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia

3 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), Sydney, Australia

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Implementation Science 2013, 8:20  doi:10.1186/1748-5908-8-20

Published: 14 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Measuring team factors in evaluations of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) may provide important information for enhancing CQI processes and outcomes; however, the large number of potentially relevant factors and associated measurement instruments makes inclusion of such measures challenging. This review aims to provide guidance on the selection of instruments for measuring team-level factors by systematically collating, categorizing, and reviewing quantitative self-report instruments.

Methods

Data sources: We searched MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Health and Psychosocial Instruments; reference lists of systematic reviews; and citations and references of the main report of instruments. Study selection: To determine the scope of the review, we developed and used a conceptual framework designed to capture factors relevant to evaluating CQI in primary care (the InQuIRe framework). We included papers reporting development or use of an instrument measuring factors relevant to teamwork. Data extracted included instrument purpose; theoretical basis, constructs measured and definitions; development methods and assessment of measurement properties. Analysis and synthesis: We used qualitative analysis of instrument content and our initial framework to develop a taxonomy for summarizing and comparing instruments. Instrument content was categorized using the taxonomy, illustrating coverage of the InQuIRe framework. Methods of development and evidence of measurement properties were reviewed for instruments with potential for use in primary care.

Results

We identified 192 potentially relevant instruments, 170 of which were analyzed to develop the taxonomy. Eighty-one instruments measured constructs relevant to CQI teams in primary care, with content covering teamwork context (45 instruments measured enabling conditions or attitudes to teamwork), team process (57 instruments measured teamwork behaviors), and team outcomes (59 instruments measured perceptions of the team or its effectiveness). Forty instruments were included for full review, many with a strong theoretical basis. Evidence supporting measurement properties was limited.

Conclusions

Existing instruments cover many of the factors hypothesized to contribute to QI success. With further testing, use of these instruments measuring team factors in evaluations could aid our understanding of the influence of teamwork on CQI outcomes. Greater consistency in the factors measured and choice of measurement instruments is required to enable synthesis of findings for informing policy and practice.

Keywords:
Continuous quality improvement; Primary care; Evaluation; Systematic review; Measurement; Instrument; Conceptual framework; Taxonomy; Teamwork; Team functioning