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Dr Kevin Donaghy, Breige Devlin
International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Vol. 8, Iss. 11, 22 Nov 2002, pp 518 - 525

This small-scale 10-month study evaluated teamworking within a specialist palliative care team. The study aims were to: collect, analyse and summarize information on how team members perceive teamworking; compare team membersí perceptions after a teambuilding workshop; and to evaluate the longer-term effect of this training on the team. A group of practitioners from a local Marie Curie Cancer Care Centre was selected and included members from all available disciplines. A piloted questionnaire was used to obtain qualitative and quantitative input. The team as a whole scored themselves above average on almost all counts. Following the teambuilding workshop significant improvement was seen in areas such as role appreciation and communication but not all improvements were long lasting. A perception of understaffing was noted as being one of the largest negative influences on teamwork whereas the setting and maintaining of agreed team objectives and having sufficient educational opportunity were positive influences. Although teambuilding sessions appear to have the potential to produce the desired benefits, they should not be initiated at a time when staff already feel anxiety over their workload.

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