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Incivility in healthcare: the impact of poor communication


Incivility is a common issue within healthcare in the UK and internationally. Experienced by at least one-third of staff within the UK National Health Service, incivility has been demonstrated to have significant negative implications on both patient care and healthcare staff. These include contributing to direct medical errors, diagnostic inaccuracy and team communication, with a large associated cost burden, while for staff it has significant negative impacts on retention, productivity and morale. Proposed methods do already exist to both prevent and address incivility, and it is in the interest of healthcare institutions, for their patients and staff, to investigate incivility and adopt these methods. This review explores existing literature on the effects of incivility, researched strategies to address it, as well as the proposed ways of integrating these. Through raising awareness and exploring these issues, our aim is to increase recognition of incivility, as well as inspire healthcare managers and leaders to collectively take efforts to reduce the rates of incivility.

  • health policy
  • analysis
  • insight
  • multi-professional

Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.

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