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Considering the team in team formulation: a systematic review

Valentina Short (Department of Psychology, Durham University – Queens Campus, Stockton, UK) (Department of Adult Mental Health, Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, Durham, UK)
Judith A. Covey (Department of Psychology, Durham University – Queens Campus, Stockton, UK)
Lisa A. Webster (School of Social and Health Sciences, Leeds Trinity University, Leeds, UK)
Ruth Wadman (Department of Psychology, University of York, York, UK)
Joe Reilly (Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK)
Naomi Hay-Gibson (Department of Library Services, Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, Durham, UK)
Helen J. Stain (School of Social and Health Sciences, Leeds Trinity University, Leeds, UK)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Article publication date: 24 January 2019

Issue publication date: 23 April 2019

1105

Abstract

Purpose

Team formulation, used to understand patient problems and plan care, is a growing practice in adult mental health and learning disability services. The purpose of this paper is to explore definitions applied to team formulation (as distinct to therapy formulation), its underpinning theories, and the inter-relationship between the team and the process of formulation.

Design/methodology/approach

A database search (main search term of team formulation) of peer-reviewed studies was conducted using PRISMA guidelines. A main and second reviewer conducted quality appraisals and thematic analysis. Data were analysed by convergent qualitative synthesis design using thematic analysis to transform evidence from quantitative and qualitative studies into qualitative findings.

Findings

Initial searching produced 4,532 papers, 10 of which were eligible for inclusion. Team formulation has no distinct definition. Theories underpinning the practice of therapy formulation emanating from general psychological theory underpin team formulation. Seven studies applied psychological theories to the examination of team formulation. No studies examined the impact of the team on the formulation. Six themes were generated regarding the impact of team formulation on the team; “increased knowledge and understanding”, “altered perceptions, leading to altered relationships, feelings and behaviours”, “space to reflect”, “useful when stuck or challenged”, “perceived increase in effectiveness” and “improved team working”.

Research limitations/implications

Limited evidence and variable quality compromised the availability of review evidence.

Originality/value

This is the first review to examine team formulation through the context of the team. The authors argue that a conceptual framework to encompass team inputs, processes and outputs in team formulation practice should guide future research.

Keywords

Citation

Short, V., Covey, J.A., Webster, L.A., Wadman, R., Reilly, J., Hay-Gibson, N. and Stain, H.J. (2019), "Considering the team in team formulation: a systematic review", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 11-29. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-12-2017-0055

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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