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The team that plays together stays together: the effect of departmental Christmas party attendance on team cohesion within a healthcare setting
  1. Daniel Cromb1,
  2. Helen Thomas1,
  3. Martin Garcia-Nicoletti2,
  4. Ronny Cheung2
  1. 1 Department of General Paediatrics, Croydon University Hospital, Croydon, UK
  2. 2 Department of General Paediatrics, Evelina London Children’s Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel Cromb, Department of General Paediatrics, Croydon University Hospital, Croydon, CR7 7YE, UK; daniel.cromb{at}


Objectives To understand the effect of attendance at departmental Christmas parties on cohesion and teamwork within the healthcare setting.

Method (design/setting/participants/interventions/outcome measures) We used the ‘Team Development Measure’ questionnaire to assess team cohesiveness among healthcare professionals before and after departmental Christmas parties took place. A pooled mean score (PMS) of responses was used to compare between groups.

Results There were no significant differences in perceived measures of team cohesion when comparing responses before (PMSbefore=1.86±0.20) and after (PMSafter=1.91±0.22) the departmental Christmas party (p=0.37), nor was there a significant difference when comparing responses from attendees (PMSbefore=1.83±0.23, PMSafter=1.89±0.24, p=0.52) or non-attendees (PMSbefore=1.84±1.47, PMSafter=1.83±0.15, p=0.91). No difference was observed between professional groups (PMSdoctors=1.85±0.23, PMSnurses=1.95±0.18, p=0.064).

Conclusion Attendance at departmental Christmas parties does not seem to result in improved team cohesion.

  • teamwork
  • cohesion
  • Christmas party

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  • Contributors DC designed the study, planned and performed the data analyses, and wrote and revised the manuscript. HT collected data and wrote and revised the manuscript. MG-N collected data and revised the manuscript. RC initiated and designed the study, supervised data collection and analyses, and wrote and revised the manuscript. RC is the guarantor. All authors have full access to data (including statistical reports and tables) in the study and can take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

  • Disclaimer The guarantor affirms that the manuscript is an honest, accurate and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned (and, if relevant, registered) have been explained.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval This study did not involve patient data or care, and was deemed a service evaluation/improvement project with corresponding analysis; therefore institutional ethics approval was not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Full data from the study are available from the authors upon request.