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Title: Intergroup communication and strategies to improve intergroup contact : the specific case of nurses and doctors
Author: Santillo, Marta
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 6133
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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Poor communication between doctors and nurses is known to be an important factor that impacts on the quality and safety of patient care (Lawton et al., 2012). The different professional roles, responsibilities and positions in the hierarchy of these two professional groups may lead to communication problems (Hewett, Watson, Gallois, Ward, & Leggett, 2009). Intergroup contact research has been applied to understand under which conditions contact between members of different groups results in more positive attitudes and behaviours (Pettigrew, Tropp, Wagner, & Christ, 2011). The aim of this thesis is to apply the intergroup contact hypothesis to the specific context of nurses and doctors, towards the improvement of inter-professional attitudes and communication. In Study 1 nurses and doctors were interviewed analysing communication breakdown and strategies used to avoid errors caused by miscommunication, based on the level of seniority of the clinicians. From the analysis of the interviews a scale of effective inter-professional communication was developed, to be used in Study 2 as part of a cross sectional survey on the effects of the quality of inter-professional contact on team work and communication in hospital. Results of study 2 showed that high quality contact predicted effective teamwork through more positive inter-professional perceptions and more effective communication, for both professional groups. In Study 3 nursing students and medical students were involved in a study on the effects of indirect contact on attitudes and communication. From the results, extended contact was successful in improving nursing students’ attitudes towards future professional interactions with doctors. Finally, the results of the three research studies were presented in a focus group in which health researchers and clinicians gave feedback on the applicability of the findings in the hospital setting and on the use of intergroup based interventions in inter-professional learning between nursing students and medical students.
Supervisor: Lawton, Rebecca ; Turner, Rhiannon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available