Why saying what you mean matters: An analysis of trauma team communication

Hee Soo Jung*, Charles Warner-Hillard, Ryan Thompson, Krista Haines, Brooke Moungey, Anne LeGare, David Williamson Shaffer, Carla Pugh, Suresh Agarwal, Sarah Sullivan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: We hypothesized that team communication with unmatched grammatical form and communicative intent (mixed mode communication) would correlate with worse trauma teamwork. Methods: Interdisciplinary trauma simulations were conducted. Team performance was rated using the TEAM tool. Team communication was coded for grammatical form and communicative intent. The rate of mixed mode communication (MMC) was calculated. MMC rates were compared to overall TEAM scores. Statements with advisement intent (attempts to guide behavior) and edification intent (objective information) were specifically examined. The rates of MMC with advisement intent (aMMC) and edification intent (eMMC) were also compared to TEAM scores. Results: TEAM scores did not correlate with MMC or eMMC. However, aMMC rates negatively correlated with total TEAM scores (r = −0.556, p = 0.025) and with the TEAM task management component scores (r = −0.513, p = 0.042). Conclusions: Trauma teams with lower rates of mixed mode communication with advisement intent had better non-technical skills as measured by TEAM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-254
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication
  • Non-technical skills
  • Simulation
  • Speech acts
  • Trauma
  • Verbal response modes


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