The effect of video-assisted oral feedback versus oral feedback on surgical communicative competences in undergraduate training

Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg. 2017 Aug;43(4):461-466. doi: 10.1007/s00068-016-0734-x. Epub 2016 Oct 11.


Purpose: Feedback can significantly improve future performance. Reviewing one's performance by video is discussed as useful adjunct to debriefing, particularly for non-technical skills. Communicative competencies are an essential part of daily clinical practice; thus should be taught and assessed during undergraduate training. The aim of this study was to compare the educational value of video-assisted feedback versus oral feedback in communicative competencies in the surgical context.

Methods: Fourth-year medical students completed a 210-min training unit of 'taking patient's history and obtaining informed consents prior to surgery' using role plays. Oral feedback was received directly thereafter using agenda-led, outcome-based guidelines (ALOBA). In the study group, the role plays were video-taped and reviewed thereafter. Afterwards, students completed two OSCE stations, where they were assessed regarding their communicative competencies and the content of the clinical scenario.

Results: One-hundred students (49 receiving video-assisted feedback, 51 oral) participated in the study. Those receiving video-assisted feedback performed significantly better in overall score in both OSCE stations (p < 0.001), in all five assessed communicative competencies at taking patient history (p = 0.029 or better), and in 2 of 5 items at obtaining informed consent (p = 0.008, <0.001). The educational effect size for both tasks was large.

Conclusion: Using our methodology, video-assisted feedback offered a significant educational benefit over oral feedback alone during a simulated patient encounter in a surgical context.

Keywords: Communicative competences; Oral feedback; Surgical training; Undergraduate training; Video assisted feedback.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • Educational Measurement
  • Feedback*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking*
  • Multiple Trauma / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Videotape Recording
  • Young Adult