Effect of multisource feedback on resident communication skills and professionalism: a randomized controlled trial

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Jan;161(1):44-9. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.161.1.44.


Objective: To determine whether augmenting standard feedback on resident performance with a multisource feedback intervention improved pediatric resident communication skills and professionalism.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, from June 21, 2004, to July 7, 2005.

Participants: Thirty-six first-year pediatric residents.

Interventions: Residents assigned to the multisource feedback group (n = 18) completed a self-assessment, received a feedback report about baseline parent and nurse evaluations, and participated in a tailored coaching session in addition to receiving standard feedback. Residents in the control group (n = 18) received standard feedback only. The control group and their residency directors were blinded to parent and nurse evaluations until the end of the study.

Main outcome measures: Residents' specific communication skills and professional behaviors were rated by parents and nurses of pediatric patients. Both groups were evaluated at baseline and after 5 months. Scores were calculated on each item as percentage in the highest response category.

Results: Both groups had comparable baseline characteristics and ratings. Parent ratings increased for both groups. While parent ratings increased more for the multisource feedback group, differences between groups were not statistically significant. In contrast, nurse ratings increased for the multisource feedback group and decreased for the control group. The difference in change between groups was statistically significant for communicating effectively with the patient and family (35%; 95% confidence interval, 11.0%-58.0%), timeliness of completing tasks (30%; 95% confidence interval, 7.9%-53.0%), and demonstrating responsibility and accountability (26%; 95% confidence interval, 2.9%-49.0%).

Conclusion: A multisource feedback intervention positively affected communication skills and professional behavior among pediatric residents.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00302783.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Physicians
  • Professional Competence*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00302783