PRP154: Resident and Preceptor Perceptions of Assessment: How Much is Enough?

Tara McGregor; Mary Martin, MSc; Arlan Walsh; Nancy Dalgarno


Context: Workplace-based assessments (WBA) are used to document formative feedback and to inform summative assessment for residents. Though one WBA per half day of learning is suggested, there is a dearth of literature to inform the optimum number of FNs to support resident’s learning.
Objective: Explore perceptions of Family Medicine (FM) residents and preceptors on the quantity and quality of workplace-based assessment (WBA) for resident learning.
Study design: Exploratory online survey study of FM residents and preceptors using a Dillman approach. Data analyzed using descriptive statistics and t-tests (α=0.05) with SPSS.
Setting: Four distributed sites of a Family Medicine residency program in Eastern Ontario.
Population Studied: Currently enrolled FM residents (n=163) and preceptors (n=173).
Outcome Measures: Number of WBA written (preceptors) and received (residents), satisfaction with quantity and quality of WBA, optimal number of WBA for learning, differences between residents and preceptors and between residents by year of study.
Results: Response rates were 27.2% for preceptors and 22.7% for residents. About half (52.9%) of preceptors and most (91.4%) residents reported writing/receiving fewer WBA than the recommended 1 WBA per half-day of supervision. Overall, 61.7% of preceptors and 77.8% of residents were satisfied with the frequency of WBAs written/received. When asked about optimal frequency, 58.8% of preceptors, 70.0% of year-2, but only 35.7% of year-1 residents believed it should be fewer than recommended. Overall, 19.1% of preceptors and 46.0% of year-2 residents agreed that the optimal frequency of WBA differs based on year of study. Year-2 residents were significantly more likely to prefer fewer WBA with higher quality feedback compared to year-1 residents (p=0.017). Overall, residents were significantly more likely than preceptors to agree that too much feedback undermines the resident's autonomy (p = 0.011).
Conclusions: Overwhelmingly, FM residents receive less WBA than recommended, however most were satisfied with this. Over half of preceptors do not provide WBA at the recommended frequency, and perceptions were varied regarding optimal frequency. Some evidence in support of providing fewer WBA for year-2 residents was found. Further investigation is required to determine the optimal frequency of WBA for learning.

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