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17-12-2019 | Show and Tell | Uitgave 1/2020 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 1/2020

Nudging clinical supervisors to provide better in-training assessment reports

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 1/2020
Valérie Dory, Beth-Ann Cummings, Mélanie Mondou, Meredith Young
Belangrijke opmerkingen
The research was conducted at McGill University, Montreal (QC), Canada



In-training assessment reports (ITARs) summarize assessment during a clinical placement to inform decision-making and provide formal feedback to learners. Faculty development is an effective but resource-intensive means of improving the quality of completed ITARs. We examined whether the quality of completed ITARs could be improved by ‘nudges’ from the format of ITAR forms.


Our first intervention consisted of placing the section for narrative comments at the beginning of the form, and using prompts for recommendations (Do more, Keep doing, Do less, Stop doing). In a second intervention, we provided a hyperlink to a detailed assessment rubric and shortened the checklist section. We analyzed a sample of 360 de-identified completed ITARs from six disciplines across the three academic years where the different versions of the ITAR were used. Two raters independently scored the ITARs using the Completed Clinical Evaluation Report Rating (CCERR) scale. We tested for differences between versions of the ITAR forms using a one-way ANOVA for the total CCERR score, and MANOVA for the nine CCERR item scores.


Changes to the form structure (nudges) improved the quality of information generated as measured by the CCERR instrument, from a total score of 18.0/45 (SD 2.6) to 18.9/45 (SD 3.1) and 18.8/45 (SD 2.6), p = 0.04. Specifically, comments were more balanced, more detailed, and more actionable compared with the original ITAR.


Nudge interventions, which are inexpensive and feasible, should be included in multipronged approaches to improve the quality of assessment reports.
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