Feedback in Medical Education: A Critical Appraisal

AEM Educ Train. 2017 Mar 22;1(2):98-109. doi: 10.1002/aet2.10024. eCollection 2017 Apr.

Abstract

Objective: The objective was to review and critically appraise the medical education literature pertaining to feedback and highlight influential papers that inform our current understanding of the role of feedback in medical education.

Methods: A search of the English language literature in querying Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), PsychINFO, PubMed, and Scopus identified 327 feedback-related papers using either quantitative (hypothesis-testing or observational investigations of educational interventions), qualitative methods (exploring important phenomena in emergency medicine [EM] education), or review methods.Two reviewers independently screened each category of publications using previously established exclusion criteria. Six reviewers then independently scored the remaining 54 publications using a qualitative, quantitative, or review paper scoring system. Each scoring system consisted of nine criteria and used parallel scoring metrics that have been previously used in critical appraisals of education research.

Results: Fifty-four feedback papers (25 quantitative studies, 24 qualitative studies, five review papers) met the a priori criteria for inclusion and were reviewed. Eight quantitative studies, nine qualitative studies, and three review papers were ranked highly by the reviewers and are summarized in this article.

Conclusions: This inaugural Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors Academy critical appraisal highlights 20 feedback in medical education papers that describe the current state of the feedback literature. A summary of current factors that influence feedback effectiveness is discussed, along with practical implications for EM educators and the next steps for research.