The Working in Healthcare Questionnaire: collaboration and support in clinical working as a means of quality improvement and creasing person-centered care

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Margaret Redshaw
Colin R. Martin


Objective: To test the validity, reliability and discriminating capacity of an instrument to measure support, collaboration and communication in clinical working.Study setting: National Health Service organisations providing maternity care in England.Design: Validation study. Participants: Health professionals working in maternity care (177 doctors and 1991 midwives). Data collection: On-line questionnaire in organisations providing maternity care in 2007.Main outcome measure: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identifying factors making up the Working in Healthcare measure (WHQ)Principal findings: Marked differences were found between the professional groups in their perceptions of the working environment: medical staff were more likely to feel supported and engaged and midwifery staff less likely to be positive about collaborative working. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a two factor structure for the Working in Healthcare Questionnaire (WHQ) with a 9-item version of the measure. Two factors represented by sub-scales ‘support and encouragement’ and ‘communication in practice’, were supported by confirmatory factor analysis.Conclusion: The study shows that the WHQ-9 is a valid, reliable and discriminating self-report measure of clinical working, reflecting the work experience and perceptions of healthcare staff, which could be used to monitor change over time and to support quality improvement and person-centered care.

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