Deliberate practice as a framework for evaluating feedback in residency training
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OBJECTIVE: Using the theory of deliberate practice, a key component of Ericsson's theory of expertise development, this study aims to evaluate the quality of written feedback given to learners. METHODS: The authors created a feedback scoring system based on the key elements of deliberate practice and used it to assess the quality of written feedback provided to residents in 205 mini-CEX encounter forms. Scores were assigned to each feedback entry for identification of the following: Task, performance gap and action plan. RESULTS: The scoring system allowed for reliable identification of the components that facilitate deliberate practice in written feedback provided to trainees. However, only one of these components was identified in 70% of the feedback entries. A specific task was identified in 56%, whereas specific performance gaps and action plans were identified in only 3.9% and 13.7% of encounters, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Scoring written feedback identified that tasks were often specifically described, but performance gaps and action plans were less frequently and specifically mentioned. Educators might improve feedback effectiveness by better articulating to trainees the gap between their performance and an expert standard, as well as by providing them with specific learning plans.
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