Positive change in feedback perceptions and behavior: A 10-year follow-up study

Dorene F. Balmer*, Rebecca Tenney-Soeiro, Erika Mejia, Beth Rezet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Providing and learning from feedback are essential components of medical education, and typically described as resistant to change. But given a decade of change in the clinical context in which feedback occurs, the authors asked if, and how, perceptions of feedback and feedback behaviors might have changed in response to contextual affordances. Methods: In 2017, the authors conducted a follow-up, ethnographic study on 2 general pediatric floors at the same children's hospital where another ethnographic study on a general pediatric floor was conducted in 2007. Data sources included (1) 21 and 34 hours of observation in 2007 and 2017, respectively, (2) 35 and 25 interviews with general pediatric attending physicians and residents in 2007 and 2017, respectively, and (3) a review of 120 program documents spanning 2007 to 2017. Data were coded and organized around 3 recommendations for feedback that were derived from 2007 data and served as standards for assessing change in 2017. Results: Data revealed progress in achieving each recommendation. Compared with 2007, participants in 2017 more clearly distinguished between feedback and evaluation; residents were more aware of in-the-moment feedback, and they had shifted their orientation from evaluation and grades to feedback and learning. Explanations for progress in achieving recommendations, which were derived from the data, pointed to institutional and national influences, namely, the pediatric milestones. Conclusions: On the basis of follow-up, ethnographic data, changes in the clinical context of pediatric education may afford positive change in perceptions of feedback and feedback behavior and point to influences within and beyond the institution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20172950
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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