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Team-working and stress in health and social care

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Author(s): Constantine Kahuro Ngigi

Journal: International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health
ISSN 1840-4529

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 209;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Team work | leadership | work structure | stress | and health and social care

ABSTRACT
Background: Work-related stress is an important national issue and, with the rising costs of employeeswho fall prey to it, society and organisations require more interventions to help deal with the problem.While change is occurring in modern organisations that has the potential to escalate stress levels at work,policies can be enhanced with additional research on teamwork outcomes.Aim & objectives: This research project examined studies that evaluated teamwork and its effect onemployee well-being, it also determined the effects of good leadership and its influence on work-relatedstress and finally, it established to what extent team-working was implemented in the health and socialcare sector.The review critically analysed 7 articles selected following rigorous methodology assessment of 105potentially relevant titles on teamwork and its effects on work-related stress. It also provided a report onkey messages and themes arising in the literature and made recommendations about future work.Method: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis was conducted. The literature search wasperformed in Ebscohost, PsyclArticles, AbiInfo, Emerald, and Healthcare Management InformationConsortium (HMIC) from the year 1991 to 2010 with the keywords; team work, leadership, workstructure, stress, and health and social care.Articles included for review were closely examined with the aid of a checklist to assess methodologicalquality. Thematic analysis was used to identify and assess key concepts from the data.Results: The study suggested that the effect of team-working on the well-being of employees depends onhow it affects job characteristics, i.e. autonomy.Team-working fails where the environment compromises the form of work design, i.e. interdependence,cohesion, communication etc. The study provided recommendations for enhancing the quality of workinglives and a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound) objective approach tomanaging stress. The health and social care sector lacks a theoretical model and efficiency measure ofteam-working, performance and employee well-being, which would certainly help members of staff toimprove their working lives.Limitations: They were derived from the current statistical procedure applied to detect some facts, suchas publication bias and heterogeneity.Conclusion: Sufficient studies have demonstrated the rationale and benefits of effective team-working inproviding seamless partnership working, improved communication and support systems among teams.Implementation of this model ensures a whole range of economic advantages in organisations whichinclude; improved patient care/service delivery, improved outcomes, improved employee satisfaction andreduced liability (errors, employee sickness due to stress etc.

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