Objective: We investigated naturally occurring feedback incidents to substantiate literature-based recommended techniques for giving feedback effectively.
Setting: A faculty development course for improving the teaching of the medical interview, with opportunities for participants to receive feedback.
Participants: Seventy-four course participants (clinician-educators from a wide range of medical disciplines, and several behavioral scientists).
Measurements and main results: We used qualitative and quantitative approaches. Participants provided narratives of helpful and unhelpful incidents experienced during the course and then rated their own narratives using a semantic-differential survey. We found strong agreement between the two approaches, and congruence between our data and the recommended literature. Giving feedback effectively includes: establishing an appropriate interpersonal climate; using an appropriate location; establishing mutually agreed upon goals; eliciting the learner's thoughts and feelings; reflecting on observed behaviors; being nonjudgmental; relating feedback to specific behaviors; offering the right amount of feedback; and offering suggestions for improvement.
Conclusions: Feedback techniques experienced by respondents substantiate the literature-based recommendations, and corrective feedback is regarded as helpful when delivered appropriately. A model for providing feedback is offered.