The Effects of Treatment Team Diversity and Size on Assessments of Team Functioning

Published in: Hospital and Health Services Administration, v. 41, no. 1, Spring 1996, p. 37-53

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1996

by Jeffrey A. Alexander, Richard Lichtenstein, Kimberly J. Jinnett, Thomas A. D'Aunno

Team-based health care assumes that groups representing multiple disciplines can work together to implement care plans that are comprehensive and integrated. It also assumes that professionals can function effectively in an inter-dependent relationship with members of other occupational groups. However, little is known about what makes effective team functioning. This article examines the factors related to health care team functioning, with specific emphasis on team demographic composition and size. Hierarchical linear modeling is used to analyze 106 multidisciplinary teams (1,060 members) that provide mental health care in 29 Veterans Affairs hospitals. Results indicate that individuals who operate on more heterogeneous and larger teams have lower perceptions of team functioning.

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