The importance of teamwork climate for preventing burnout in UK general practices

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This study aims to investigate the association between teamwork and burnout among general practitioners (GPs) and explore the perspectives of all staff members about ways to promote teamwork as a wellness strategy in general practices. A two-stage survey was conducted. In stage one, validated self-report measures of burnout and teamwork were completed by 50 GPs across 12 general practices in Greater Manchester. In stage two, 24 staff members across three of the 12 general practices (GPs, nursing staff, managers and admin staff completed) responded to free text questions about teamwork. The results of the stage one survey showed that teamwork in GPs was significantly negatively associated with the emotional exhaustion (r= -0.326, p<0.05) and depersonalisation (r=-0.421, p<0.01) domains of the burnout measure and significantly positively associated with the personal accomplishment (r=0.296, p<0.05) domain. Staff members of general practices provided 20 free text responses in stage two which were assigned into three themes: (1) addressing organisational barriers which might threaten teamwork, (2) promoting the view of teamwork as a shared responsibility among all staff members of the general practice and (3) implementing improvement strategies which can be embedded in the busy environment of general practices. GPs and other staff members of general practices valued the importance of teamwork for boosting their morale and mitigating burnout. Future research should focus on designing and embedding brief teamwork improvement strategies in general practices.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Jun 2020