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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Factors predicting team climate, and its relationship with quality of care in general practice

Teik T Goh12*, Martin P Eccles1 and Nick Steen1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle University, 21 Claremont Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4AA, UK

2 Northumbria General Practice Vocational Training Scheme, Northern Deanery, 10-12 Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4AB, UK

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BMC Health Services Research 2009, 9:138  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-138

Published: 4 August 2009

Abstract

Background

Quality of care in general practice may be affected by the team climate perceived by its health and non-health professionals. Better team working is thought to lead to higher effectiveness and quality of care. However, there is limited evidence available on what affects team functioning and its relationship with quality of care in general practice. This study aimed to explore individual and practice factors that were associated with team climate, and to explore the relationship between team climate and quality of care.

Methods

Cross sectional survey of a convenience sample of 14 general practices and their staff in South Tyneside in the northeast of England. Team climate was measured using the short version of Team Climate Inventory (TCI) questionnaire. Practice characteristics were collected during a structured interview with practice managers. Quality was measured using the practice Quality and Outcome Framework (QOF) scores.

Results

General Practitioners (GP) had a higher team climate scores compared to other professionals. Individual's gender and tenure, and number of GPs in the practice were significantly predictors of a higher team climate. There was no significant correlation between mean practice team climate scores (or subscales) with QOF scores.

Conclusion

The absence of a relationship between a measure of team climate and quality of care in this exploratory study may be due to a number of methodological problems. Further research is required to explore how to best measure team functioning and its relationship with quality of care.