What is it about?

Incivility, such as rudeness, insults, or derision, has detrimental consequences on employees’ effectiveness and well-being. We examined incivility in surgical teams in two ways. First, we show that observing or being subjected to incivility is related to worse operating staff well-being (stress, burnout, poor job attitudes), and it occurs because incivility relates to poor team communication and team dynamics. Second, we show that a simple intervention of placing signs depicting eyes in surgical areas reduced incivility. Our results highlight the importance of understanding the impact of incivility and indicate that incivility is amenable to change.

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Why is it important?

In healthcare, the majority of people have been subject to incivility. In studies in surgery, 53% - 95% of operating staff report having been subject to incivility acts in theater. These small acts of rudeness can impact effectiveness, performance, patient outcomes, operating performance and staff well-being. Successful interventions to reduce incivility are critical. Our approach should be viewed as one component that could be included as part of a larger program that sims to reduce incivility through longer-term culture change.

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This page is a summary of: Eyes on incivility in surgical teams: Teamwork, well-being, and an intervention, PLoS ONE, November 2023, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0295271.
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