Developing teamwork skills in pre-registration osteopathy education: A qualitative pilot investigation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 2019, 33-34, pp. 46-51
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Objectives: Teamwork in healthcare provides better outcomes for patients and contributes to job satisfaction and autonomy. Graduate capabilities of teaching institutions require educators to assess teamwork skills. The TeamUP Short-Form (TeamUP-SF) was developed as a self- and peer-assessment tool of teamwork skills following feedback from the previous version. This pilot study evaluated the utility of the TeamUP-SF in developing and assessing teamwork skills in a cohort of senior osteopathy students undertaking group assignments. Methods: Forty-nine students received the TeamUP-SF after a minimum of 12 weeks of group work. Students rated their own teamwork skills, and those of other members of their group using the TeamUP-SF. Focus groups were conducted to explore students’ attitudes and impressions about teamwork and its assessment. Analysis of focus group transcripts followed a constructivist paradigm utilising thematic analysis. Results: Seventeen students participated in a 1-h focus group about the usability of the TeamUP-SF for assessing and developing teamwork skills. Themes to emerge were perceptions of teamwork, purpose of the TeamUP-SF, usability of the TeamUP-SF, and the emotional impact of evaluating teamwork skills. Conclusion: The TeamUP-SF may be valuable in developing and assessing teamwork skills. Students recommended using the TeamUP-SF in two ways: assess and monitor their own teamwork skills; and, optimise team function in their own learning environments by focusing on team efficiency and effectiveness. Students also identified limitations of the TeamUP-SF including its use as a summative assessment. These recommendations may reduce the emotional impact on students assessing individuals within a team.
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