Henrietta Lee

Principal supervisor

Professor Jennifer Weller (University of Auckland)

Associate supervisors

Professor Alan Merry (University of Auckland)
Associate Professor Robyn Woodward-Kron (Department of Medical Education, University of Melbourne)

Project title

A multidisciplinary perspective of effective communication in the operating room.

Abstract / overview of project

Effective communication is critical to achieve effective teamwork in surgery and ensure patient safety, yet little research has been done to investigate what constitutes effective and ineffective communication in the operating room. In the literature, there are many communication strategies or interventions designed to improve communication, however, recent evidence have suggested that these strategies were not widely used in the workplace.

I am conducting my PhD research full-time at the University of Auckland, with the support of a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship. My project aims to gain a fuller understanding of what constitutes effective and ineffective communication in the operating room, from the perspectives of surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and technicians. In addition, the impact of emotions on the effectiveness of communication will be explored. The research aims to gain insights into health professionals' use (and non-use) of certain communication strategies. This knowledge would be valuable in designing ecologically valid interventions to improve communication in the operating room and similar acute care contexts.