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BMC Med Educ. 2018 Jul 24;18(1):170. doi: 10.1186/s12909-018-1270-7.

A qualitative exploration: questioning multisource feedback in residency education.

Author information

1
Department of Paediatrics, The University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
2
Division of Paediatric Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada.
3
Western Sydney University, Parramatta, NSW, Australia.
4
Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW, Australia.
5
Department of Paediatrics, The University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. sarah.schwartz@sickkids.ca.
6
Division of Paediatric Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada. sarah.schwartz@sickkids.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Multisource feedback (MSF), involves the collection of feedback from multiple groups of assessors, including those without a traditional hierarchal responsibility to evaluate doctors. Allied healthcare professionals (AHCPs), administrative staff, peers, patients and their families may all contribute to the formative assessment of physicians. Theoretically, this feedback provides a thorough view of physician performance; however, the ability of MSF programs to consistently impact physician behavior remains in question. Therefore, the objective of this study was to explore perceptions and prerequisites to an effective MSF program in postgraduate medical education from the perspectives of both pediatric residents and AHCPs.

METHODS:

This exploratory study was conducted in a pediatric inpatient unit prior to implementation of a MSF program. Focus groups were conducted with purposefully recruited participants from three distinct groups: junior pediatric residents, senior pediatric residents, and AHCPs. Discussions were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis.

RESULTS:

Both residents and AHCPs expressed a strong interest in the concept of MSF. However, more in depth discussions identified barriers to residents' acceptance of, and AHCPs' provision of feedback. Roles and responsibilities, perceptions of expertise, hospital culture/interprofessionalism and power dynamics were identified as barriers to the acceptance and provision of feedback. All groups expressed interest in opportunities to engage in bi-directional feedback.

CONCLUSIONS:

The identified barriers and prerequisites to providing and accepting MSF suggest limits to the efficacy of the MSF process. Our findings suggest that these factors should be considered in the design and implementation of MSF programs.

KEYWORDS:

360 degree evaluations; Interprofessionalism; Medical education; Multisource feedback

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