Research team:    

Dr Gillian Janes
Professor Rebecca Lawton
Dr Judith Johnson
Dr Thomas Mills
Dr Maxwell McLean
Ms Federica Bianchini
Dr Luke Budworth

Why is this study important? 

Evidence is growing of the links between staff engagement and patient safety as a result of healthcare workforce research in the UK and elsewhere. Previous systematic reviews have focused on related topics such as determining the most effective strategies for engaging healthcare staff, the characteristics of engaged staff, how to enhance staff wellbeing, or the outcomes of staff engagement. There is however no systematic review we are aware of that has determined if and to what extent staff engagement is associated with patient safety outcomes. This is critical because if safety is related to staff engagement, we might improve safety by improving staff engagement. In other words, safety interventions could also be staff engagement interventions.

Study overview: 

A systematic review and meta-analysis of relevant peer reviewed publications is being undertaken (2018-2019) to answer these specific research questions:

  • Is better staff engagement associated with better patient safety outcomes?
  • Which aspects of staff engagement are most closely associated with patient safety outcomes?
  • Which patient safety outcomes are most affected by staff engagement?

The findings will be used to provide recommendations for healthcare policymakers and senior leaders, further research and the development of interventions designed to address the issues identified.


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