The Open UniversitySkip to content

Specialty-specific multi-source feedback: assuring validity, informing training

Davies, Helena; Archer, Julian; Bateman, Adrian; Dewar, Sandra; Crossley, Jim; Grant, Janet and Southgate, Lesley (2008). Specialty-specific multi-source feedback: assuring validity, informing training. Medical Education, 42(10) pp. 1014–1020.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Context: The white paper 'Trust, Assurance and Safety: the Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century' proposes a single, generic multi-source feedback (MSF) instrument in the UK. Multi-source feedback was proposed as part of the assessment programme for Year 1 specialty training in histopathology. Methods: An existing instrument was modified following blueprinting against the histopathology curriculum to establish content validity. Trainees were also assessed using an objective structured practical examination (OSPE). Factor analysis and correlation between trainees' OSPE performance and the MSF were used to explore validity. All 92 trainees participated and the assessor response rate was 93%. Reliability was acceptable with eight assessors (95% confidence interval 0.38). Factor analysis revealed two factors: 'generic' and 'histopathology'. Pearson correlation of MSF scores with OSPE performances was 0.48 (P = 0.001) and the histopathology factor correlated more highly (histopathology r = 0.54, generic r = 0.42; t = − 2.76, d.f. = 89, P < 0.01). Trainees scored least highly in relation to ability to use histopathology to solve clinical problems (mean = 4.39) and provision of good reports (mean = 4.39). Three of six doctors whose means were < 4.0 received free text comments about report writing. There were 83 forms with aggregate scores of < 4. Of these, 19.2% included comments about report writing. Results: Specialty-specific MSF is feasible and achieves satisfactory reliability. The higher correlation of the 'histopathology' factor with the OSPE supports validity. This paper highlights the importance of validating an MSF instrument within the specialty-specific context as, in addition to assuring content validity, the PATH–SPRAT (Histopathology–Sheffield Peer Review Assessment Tool) also demonstrates the potential to inform training as part of a quality improvement model.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 0308-0110
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetRoyal College of Pathologists
Keywords: pathology/*education; clinical competence/*standards; feedback; feasibility studies; England; *education, medical, graduate; validation studies [publication type]; humans; male; female; personal satisfaction
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 15746
Depositing User: Colin Smith
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2009 15:48
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 13:19
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU