Providing feedback: exploring a model (emotion, content, outcomes) for facilitating multisource feedback

Jean Sargeant, Elaine Mcnaughton, Stewart Mercer, Douglas Murphy, Patricia Sullivan, David A. Bruce

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    66 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Multi-source feedback (MSF) aims to raise self-awareness of performance and encourage improvement. The ECO model (emotions, content, outcome) is a three-step process developed from the counselling literature to facilitate feedback acceptance and use in MSF.

    Aims: The purpose of this study was to explore the acceptability, usefulness and educational impact of the model.

    Methods: This was a qualitative study using interviews to explore general practice (GP) trainer and trainee experiences and perceptions of the ECO facilitation model. Interviews were conducted by telephone, recorded, transcribed and analysed using a thematic framework.

    Results: About 13 GP trainers and trainees participated in the interviews following their MSF discussions using the ECO model. They agreed that the model was useful, simple to use and engaged trainees in reflection upon their feedback and performance. Exploring emotions and clarifying content appeared integral to accepting and using the feedback. Positive feedback was often surprising. Most trainees reported performance improvements following their MSF-ECO session.

    Conclusions: The model appeared acceptable and simple to use. Engaging the learner as a partner in the feedback discussion appeared effective. Further research is needed to fully understand the influence of each step in facilitating MSF acceptance and use, and to determine the impact of the ECO model alone upon performance outcomes compared to more traditional provision of MSF feedback.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)744-749
    Number of pages6
    JournalMedical Teacher
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2011




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