Introduction: Medical regulatory bodies in Australasia are encouraging greater use of continuing professional development activities, such as multisource feedback (MSF), which are practice-based, include facilitated feedback, and improve performance. The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility, effectiveness, and sustainability of an MSF process that includes a telephone/videoconference debrief, to better design future MSF implementation.
Method: Thirty-seven Australasian physician participants sought feedback from patients and colleagues and debriefed their feedback report with a trained facilitator. The impact was evaluated using quantitative and qualitative measures including surveys and semistructured interviews.
Results: The feasibility of the MSF process was impacted by the level of support for the participant to complete the MSF, the nature and location of participants' work, and the use of telephone/videoconference to deliver the debrief. Regarding effectiveness, the MSF stimulated reflection on practice and action on areas identified for improvement. In addition, the quality of rater feedback and the inclusion of a debrief impacted participant and facilitator reports of effectiveness. The absence of a culture of feedback, the formative nature of the MSF, and the confidentiality of the results were factors impacting sustainability.
Discussion: Optimizing MSF is important to encourage broad uptake in the wider medical community in Australasia. Although several factors were identified as having an impact, it is clear that inclusion of a quality debrief will increase the perceived value and the effectiveness of MSF. Delivering that debrief through telephone/videoconference can be effective and will increase the overall feasibility and sustainability.
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