Health Services Research & Development

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Beaulieu AM, Kim BS, Topor DR, Dickey CC. Seeing is believing: an exploration of what residents value when they receive feedback. Academic Psychiatry : The Journal of The American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and The Association For Academic Psychiatry. 2019 Oct 1; 43(5):507-511.
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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The primary purpose of this paper is to report on psychiatry residents' perceptions of what is important when receiving feedback from evaluators. METHODS: In January 2018, as part of the Harvard South Shore Psychiatry Residency Training Program's (HSS) ongoing local quality improvement efforts to enhance the delivery and effectiveness of feedback that residents receive from faculty during training, the authors disseminated a survey to psychiatry residents (n = 31) at HSS. Residents rated the level of importance of 17 statements pertaining to the way feedback is delivered. Two open-ended prompts also allowed respondents to share examples of growth-oriented and unhelpful feedback they have received during residency. RESULTS: Twenty-seven residents responded (87% response rate). Eighty-one percent rated "the evaluator models the same behavior they're encouraging" as "extremely important" when receiving feedback. Many residents also rated the following survey items as "extremely important": "confidence in the evaluator's clinical and interpersonal skills" (63.0%), "amount of time the evaluator observed the resident" (51.9%), "there is a way to fix a performance deficit" (51.8%), and "specific feedback based off the resident's work" (48.1%). Conversely, only 11.1% of residents rated the feedback sandwich as "extremely important." CONCLUSIONS: Despite a small sample size, this project demonstrated that, when receiving feedback, the majority of psychiatry residents strongly value when evaluators model the targeted behavior. The feedback sandwich was least important to residents. This project underscores the importance of evaluators serving as role models in the context of feedback, and findings can be used in faculty development activities focused on feedback delivery best practices.