Journal Article
Multicenter Study
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Attributes of leadership skill development in high-performance pre-hospital medical teams: results of an international multi-service prospective study.

BACKGROUNDS: Team leadership skills of physicians working in high-performing medical teams are directly related to outcome. It is currently unclear how these skills can best be developed. Therefore, in this multi-national cross-sectional prospective study, we explored the development of these skills in relation to physician-, organization- and training characteristics of Helicopter Emergency Medicine Service (HEMS) physicians from services in Europe, the United States of America and Australia.

METHODS: Physicians were asked to complete a survey regarding their HEMS service, training, and background as well as a full Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ). Primary outcomes were the 12 leadership subdomain scores as described in the LBDQ. Secondary outcome measures were the association of LBDQ subdomain scores with specific physician-, organization- or training characteristics and self-reported ways to improve leadership skills in HEMS physicians.

RESULTS: In total, 120 HEMS physicians completed the questionnaire. Overall, leadership LBDQ subdomain scores were high (10 out of 12 subdomains exceeded 70% of the maximum score). Whereas physician characteristics such as experience or base-specialty were unrelated to leadership qualities, both organization- and training characteristics were important determinants of leadership skill development. Attention to leadership skills during service induction, ongoing leadership training, having standards in place to ensure (regular) scenario training and holding structured mission debriefs each correlated with multiple LBDQ subdomain scores.

CONCLUSIONS: Ongoing training of leadership skills should be stimulated and facilitated by organizations as it contributes to higher levels of proficiency, which may translate into a positive effect on patient outcomes.


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