Study Design: International survey. Objective: A positive safety culture has been linked to better surgical outcomes, less hospital costs and less patient harm and severity-adjusted mortality, making safety attitudes relevant for society and both patient and health care provider. The aim of the current study is to assess attitudes toward safety culture among spinal care professionals. Methods: An online survey was distributed to members of AOSpine International in 2016. The survey consisted out of 3 parts: (1) demographics, (2) the Safety Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ), and (3) expectations of responsibility for improving the safety culture. The SAQ measured job satisfaction, teamwork, and safety climate, perceptions of management, stress recognition, and working conditions. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with safety attitudes. Results: A total of 356 respondents replied. The SAQ showed that respondents in Africa have a significant lower score (odds ratio [OR] 0.19, P <.05) on working conditions, compared with spine professionals in Asia. Respondents in North America had the highest odds of having a higher score (OR 4.04, P <.05) compared with respondents in Asia. Gender, continent, occupation, tenure, and the number of employees in the clinic were not associated with the dimensions of safety culture (P >.05). The majority expected the surgeon to be mainly responsible for improving the safety culture in the operating room and at management level. Conclusions: There was a lot of variety among different respondents worldwide albeit respondents in Africa scored significantly lower on working conditions, compared with spine professionals in Asia and North America, suggesting that wealthier countries have better working conditions which may lead toward better safety attitudes. Closer collaboration between hospital management and clinicians seems to be a target for improvement in safety culture. Furthermore, to show clinical relevance in this field, studies correlating safety attitudes with outcomes after spine surgery are warranted.

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Keywords patient safety, safety culture, spinal care
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Journal Global Spine Journal
Gadjradj, P.S, & Harhangi, B.S. (2019). Safety Culture and Attitudes Among Spine Professionals: Results of an International Survey. Global Spine Journal, 9(6), 642–649. doi:10.1177/2192568218825247