Nursing Teamwork and Negative Patient Outcomes: A Correlational Study

Student Author(s)

Madeline Chapman

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Emilie Dykstra Goris, PhD, RN, Hope College Department of Nursing, Judith B. Westers MSN, BS, RN, Spectrum Health, Dr. Jennifer Kaiser, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE2

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Significant implications for patient health arise from the multifaceted dynamic of a nursing team. Nursing teamwork has a substantial contribution to the overall quality of patient care and outcomes. This study’s purpose was to investigate the relationship between nursing teamwork and the incidence of various patient outcomes that negatively affect health. It was hypothesized that units with better nursing teamwork as measured by the Nursing Teamwork Survey would yield fewer negative patient outcomes based on quality indicators including restraint use, patient falls, patient falls with injury, catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), and central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI). The study was framed around Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory, which emphasizes the value of nurses cultivating an environment that promotes optimum patient outcomes. The retrospective and correlational study included a convenience sample of licensed and non-licensed nursing staff from 37 units within a large Midwestern hospital system. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 23. There was no significant relationship between nursing teamwork and quality indicators including restraint use (r=-.10, p=0.56), patient falls (r=-.15, p=0.40), patient falls with injury (r=.056, p=0.75), CAUTI (r=-.02, p=0.89), or CLABSI (r=-.20, p=0.24). In conclusion, these results did not support a relationship between nursing teamwork and negative patient health outcomes. Limitations of the study include convenience sampling, a small sample size, and minimal control over extraneous variables. By examining factors contributing to negative patient outcomes, interventions can be developed to move forward toward reduced healthcare costs and enhanced healing.


This research was supported by Spectrum Health.

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