The team that plays together stays together: the effect of departmental Christmas party attendance on team cohesion within a healthcare setting

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To understand the effect of attendance at departmental Christmas parties on cohesion and teamwork within the healthcare setting.

METHOD (DESIGN/SETTING/PARTICIPANTS/INTERVENTIONS/OUTCOME MEASURES)

We used the ‘Team Development Measure' questionnaire to assess team cohesiveness among healthcare professionals before and after departmental Christmas parties took place. A pooled mean score (PMS) of responses was used to compare between groups.

RESULTS

There were no significant differences in perceived measures of team cohesion when comparing responses before (PMSbefore=1.86±0.20) and after (PMSafter=1.91±0.22) the departmental Christmas party (p=0.37), nor was there a significant difference when comparing responses from attendees (PMSbefore=1.83±0.23, PMSafter=1.89±0.24, p=0.52) or non-attendees (PMSbefore=1.84±1.47, PMSafter=1.83±0.15, p=0.91). No difference was observed between professional groups (PMSdoctors=1.85±0.23, PMSnurses=1.95±0.18, p=0.064).

CONCLUSION

Attendance at departmental Christmas parties does not seem to result in improved team cohesion.

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