Anglia Ruskin University
Wilson et al National review of fback practice - realist evaluation.pdf (1.1 MB)

Feedback for emergency ambulance staff: A national review of current practice using realist evaluation methodology

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-30, 10:57 authored by Gillian Janes, Caitlin Wilson, Rebecca Lawton, John Benn
Research suggests that feedback in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) positively affects quality of care and professional development. However, the mechanisms by which feedback achieves its effects still need to be better understood across healthcare settings. This study aimed to understand how United Kingdom (UK) ambulance services provide feedback for EMS professionals and develop a programme theory of how feedback works within EMS, using a mixed-methods, realist evaluation framework. A national cross-sectional survey was conducted to identify feedback initiatives in UK ambulance services, followed by four in-depth case studies involving qualitative interviews and documentary analysis. We used qualitative content analysis and descriptive statistics to analyse survey responses from 40 prehospital feedback initiatives, alongside retroductive analysis of 17 interviews and six documents from case study sites. Feedback initiatives mainly provided individual patient outcome feedback through “pull” initiatives triggered by staff requests. Challenges related to information governance were identified. Our programme theory of feedback to EMS professionals encompassed context (healthcare professional and organisational characteristics), mechanisms (feed back and implementation characteristics, psychological reasoning) and outcomes (implementation, staff and service outcomes). This study suggests that most UK ambulance services use a range of feedback initiatives and provides 24 empirically based testable hypotheses for future research.



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  • School of Nursing and Midwifery – Chelmsford Outputs