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Med Educ. 2008 Oct;42(10):1007-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2008.03127.x.

Changes in performance: a 5-year longitudinal study of participants in a multi-source feedback programme.

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Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.



Multi-source feedback (MSF) enables performance data to be provided to doctors from patients, co-workers and medical colleagues. This study examined the evidence for the validity of MSF instruments for general practice, investigated changes in performance for doctors who participated twice, 5 years apart, and determined the association between change in performance and initial assessment and socio-demographic characteristics.


Data for 250 doctors included three datasets per doctor from, respectively, 25 patients, eight co-workers and eight medical colleagues, collected on two occasions.


There was high internal consistency (alpha > 0.90) and adequate generalisability (Ep(2) > 0.70). D study results indicate adequate generalisability coefficients for groups of eight assessors (medical colleagues, co-workers) and 25 patient surveys. Confirmatory factor analyses provided evidence for the validity of factors that were theoretically expected, meaningful and cohesive. Comparative fit indices were 0.91 for medical colleague data, 0.87 for co-worker data and 0.81 for patient data. Paired t-test analysis showed significant change between the two assessments from medical colleagues and co-workers, but not between the two patient surveys. Multiple linear regressions explained 2.1% of the variance at time 2 for medical colleagues, 21.4% of the variance for co-workers and 16.35% of the variance for patient assessments, with professionalism a key variable in all regressions.


There is evidence for the construct validity of the instruments and for their stability over time. Upward changes in performance will occur, although their effect size is likely to be small to moderate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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