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Early students like feedback from everybody

Perceptions of Peer-to-Peer Interprofessional Feedback Among Students in the Health Professions. van Schaik SM, Regehr G, Eva KW, Irby DM, O’Sullivan PS. Academic Medicine Vol. 91, No. 6 / June 2016

Reviewed by Noah Kohn

What was the study question?
Do participants in Interprofessional Education (IPE) experiences demonstrate bias in their response to feedback from co-participants from other healthcare disciplines?

How was the study done?
After providing and receiving feedback on interviewing and teamwork skills as part of a short interprofessional team-based standardized patient exercise, early healthcare professional students (medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, physical therapy students, all in year 1 or 2 of clinical training) were surveyed on their perceptions of the positivity and usefulness of the feedback they had received. These results were analyzed for possible interdisciplinary bias.

What were the results?
221 students (62.6% of participants) completed the survey. Ratings of the feedback were high for both usefulness (mean 3.84-4.27 on a five-point scale by profession of recipient) and positivity (mean 4.17- 4.86). These results remained high regardless of actual or perceived profession of the provider of the feedback.

What are the implications?
It has been theorized (Burford B, Med Educ. 2012) that different professional groups may have challenges participating in IPE due to inherent biases. This study demonstrates that early clinical learners generally have a positive attitude toward IPE feedback, possibly in contrast to later clinical learners. By encouraging clinical learners to identify as members of the care team before certain stereotypes can be reinforced, introduction of IPE early in the curriculum may be more effective in overcoming potential biases than a later introduction of IPE.

Editor’s Note: The authors have not yet analyzed the feedback itself for thematic content. It will be interesting to see whether the feedback differs by profession, and how that feedback changes as learners become more experienced (JG)

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