Multisource feedback to assess surgical practice: A systematic review

Khalid Al Khalifa, Ahmed Al Ansari, Claudio Violato, Tyrone Donnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: The assessment, maintenance of competence, and recertification for surgeons have recently received increased attention from many health organizations. Assessment of physicians' competencies with multisource feedback (MSF) has become widespread in recent years. The aim of the present study was to investigate further the use of MSF for assessing surgical practice by conducting a systematic review of the published research. Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted to identify the use of MSF in surgical settings. The search was conducted using the electronic databases EMBASE, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, PubMed, and CINAHL for articles in English up to August 2012. Studies were included if they reported information about at least 1 out of feasibility, reliability, generalizability, and validity of the MSF. Results: A total of 780 articles were identified with the initial search and 772 articles were excluded based on the exclusion criteria. Eight studies met the inclusion criteria for this systematic review. Reliability (Cronbach α≥0.90) was reported in 4 studies and generalizability (Ep2≥0.70) was reported in 4 studies. Evidence for content, criterion-related, and construct validity was reported in all 8 studies. Conclusion: MSF is a feasible, reliable, and valid method to assess surgical practice, particularly for nontechnical competencies such as communication skills, interpersonal skills, collegiality, humanism, and professionalism. Meanwhile, procedural competence needs to be assessed by different assessment methods. Further implementation for the use of MSF is desirable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-486
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • assessment
  • competence
  • multisource feedback
  • professionalism

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