Safety attitudes in hospital emergency departments: a systematic review

Naif Alzahrani, Russell Jones, Amir Rizwan, Mohamed E. Abdel-Latif*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to perform and report a systematic review of published research on patient safety attitudes of health staff employed in hospital emergency departments (EDs). Design/methodology/approach: An electronic search was conducted of PsychINFO, ProQuest, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed and CINAHL databases. The review included all studies that focussed on the safety attitudes of professional hospital staff employed in EDs. Findings: Overall, the review revealed that the safety attitudes of ED health staff are generally low, especially on teamwork and management support and among nurses when compared to doctors. Conversely, two intervention studies showed the effectiveness of team building interventions on improving the safety attitudes of health staff employed in EDs. Research limitations/implications: Six studies met the inclusion criteria, however, most of the studies demonstrated low to moderate methodological quality. Originality/value: Teamwork, communication and management support are central to positive safety attitudes. Teamwork training can improve safety attitudes. Given that EDs are the “front-line” of hospital care and patients within EDs are especially vulnerable to medical errors, future research should focus on the safety attitudes of medical staff employed in EDs and its relationship to medical errors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1042-1054
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2019


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