Perceptions of operating room tension across professions: Building generalizable evidence and educational resources

Academic Article


  • Background: Effective team communication is critical in health care, yet no curriculum exists to teach it. Naturalistic research has revealed systematic patterns of tension and profession-specific interpretation of operating room team communication. Replication of these naturalistic findings in a controlled, video-based format could provide a basis for formal curricula. Method: Seventy-two surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists independently rated three video-based scenarios for the three professions' level of tension, responsibility for creating tension and responsibility for resolution. Data were analyzed using three-way, mixed-design analyses of variance. Results: The three professions rated tension levels of the various scenarios similarly (F = 1.19, ns), but rated each profession's responsibility for creating (F = 2.86, p < .05) and resolving (F = 1.91, p < .01) tension differently, often rating their profession as having relatively less responsibility than the others. Conclusions: These results provide an evidence base for team communications training about tension patterns, disparity of professional perspectives, and implications for team function.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Academic Medicine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lingard L; Regehr G; Espin S; Devito I; Whyte S; Buller D; Sadovy B; Rogers D; Reznick R
  • Volume

  • 80
  • Issue

  • 10 SUPPL.