1. Johnson, Susan L. PhD, RN
  2. Haerling, Katie A. PhD, RN
  3. Yuwen, Weichao PhD, RN
  4. Huynh, Van BSN, RN
  5. Le, Chi BSN, RN


Background: Incivility has been identified as a common occurrence in health care settings. While anecdotal evidence exists that these behaviors negatively impact patient care, more robust evidence is lacking.


Purpose: This randomized controlled trial investigated the effects of exposure to incivility on clinical performance, teamwork, and emotions.


Methods: Teams of nurses were randomly assigned to a control or experimental group. The experimental group was exposed to incivility. Both groups were then prompted to perform basic life support on a high-fidelity manikin. Teams were scored on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performance and teamwork. Individuals completed measures of affect and a cognitive test.


Results: There were no differences in CPR, cognitive or teamwork scores, or emotional state. However, 66% of the experimental group had a major error in their CPR performance. None of the control groups made the same error.


Conclusions: These findings support anecdotal evidence that exposure to incivility may contribute to errors in clinical performance.