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      No more ‘business as usual’ with audit and feedback interventions: towards an agenda for a reinvigorated intervention

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          Abstract

          Background

          Audit and feedback interventions in healthcare have been found to be effective, but there has been little progress with respect to understanding their mechanisms of action or identifying their key ‘active ingredients.’

          Discussion

          Given the increasing use of audit and feedback to improve quality of care, it is imperative to focus further research on understanding how and when it works best. In this paper, we argue that continuing the ‘business as usual’ approach to evaluating two-arm trials of audit and feedback interventions against usual care for common problems and settings is unlikely to contribute new generalizable findings. Future audit and feedback trials should incorporate evidence- and theory-based best practices, and address known gaps in the literature.

          Summary

          We offer an agenda for high-priority research topics for implementation researchers that focuses on reviewing best practices for designing audit and feedback interventions to optimize effectiveness.

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          Most cited references 36

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          The theory of planned behavior

           Icek Ajzen (1991)
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            Validation of the theoretical domains framework for use in behaviour change and implementation research

            Background An integrative theoretical framework, developed for cross-disciplinary implementation and other behaviour change research, has been applied across a wide range of clinical situations. This study tests the validity of this framework. Methods Validity was investigated by behavioural experts sorting 112 unique theoretical constructs using closed and open sort tasks. The extent of replication was tested by Discriminant Content Validation and Fuzzy Cluster Analysis. Results There was good support for a refinement of the framework comprising 14 domains of theoretical constructs (average silhouette value 0.29): ‘Knowledge’, ‘Skills’, ‘Social/Professional Role and Identity’, ‘Beliefs about Capabilities’, ‘Optimism’, ‘Beliefs about Consequences’, ‘Reinforcement’, ‘Intentions’, ‘Goals’, ‘Memory, Attention and Decision Processes’, ‘Environmental Context and Resources’, ‘Social Influences’, ‘Emotions’, and ‘Behavioural Regulation’. Conclusions The refined Theoretical Domains Framework has a strengthened empirical base and provides a method for theoretically assessing implementation problems, as well as professional and other health-related behaviours as a basis for intervention development.
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              Accuracy of physician self-assessment compared with observed measures of competence: a systematic review.

              Core physician activities of lifelong learning, continuing medical education credit, relicensure, specialty recertification, and clinical competence are linked to the abilities of physicians to assess their own learning needs and choose educational activities that meet these needs. To determine how accurately physicians self-assess compared with external observations of their competence. The electronic databases MEDLINE (1966-July 2006), EMBASE (1980-July 2006), CINAHL (1982-July 2006), PsycINFO (1967-July 2006), the Research and Development Resource Base in CME (1978-July 2006), and proprietary search engines were searched using terms related to self-directed learning, self-assessment, and self-reflection. Studies were included if they compared physicians' self-rated assessments with external observations, used quantifiable and replicable measures, included a study population of at least 50% practicing physicians, residents, or similar health professionals, and were conducted in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia, or New Zealand. Studies were excluded if they were comparisons of self-reports, studies of medical students, assessed physician beliefs about patient status, described the development of self-assessment measures, or were self-assessment programs of specialty societies. Studies conducted in the context of an educational or quality improvement intervention were included only if comparative data were obtained before the intervention. Study population, content area and self-assessment domain of the study, methods used to measure the self-assessment of study participants and those used to measure their competence or performance, existence and use of statistical tests, study outcomes, and explanatory comparative data were extracted. The search yielded 725 articles, of which 17 met all inclusion criteria. The studies included a wide range of domains, comparisons, measures, and methodological rigor. Of the 20 comparisons between self- and external assessment, 13 demonstrated little, no, or an inverse relationship and 7 demonstrated positive associations. A number of studies found the worst accuracy in self-assessment among physicians who were the least skilled and those who were the most confident. These results are consistent with those found in other professions. While suboptimal in quality, the preponderance of evidence suggests that physicians have a limited ability to accurately self-assess. The processes currently used to undertake professional development and evaluate competence may need to focus more on external assessment.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Implement Sci
                Implement Sci
                Implementation Science : IS
                BioMed Central
                1748-5908
                2014
                17 January 2014
                : 9
                : 14
                1748-5908-9-14
                10.1186/1748-5908-9-14
                3896824
                24438584
                Copyright © 2014 Ivers et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Categories
                Debate

                Medicine

                best practice, synthesis, audit and feedback, optimization, implementation

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