Factors influencing trainers' feedback-giving behavior: a cross- sectional survey

Elisabeth A. M. Pelgrim, Anneke W. M. Kramer*, Henk G. A. Mokkink, Cees P. M. van der Vleuten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The literature provides some insight into the role of feedback givers, but little information about within-trainer factors influencing ` feedback- giving behaviours'. We looked for relationships between characteristics of feedback givers (self- efficacy, task perception, neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness) and elements of observation and feedback (frequency, quality of content and consequential impact). Methods: We developed and tested several hypotheses regarding the characteristics and elements in a cross-sectional digital survey among GP trainers and their trainees in 2011 and 2012. We conducted bivariate analysis using Pearson correlations and performed multiple regression analysis. Results: Sixty-two trainer-trainee couples from three Dutch institutions for postgraduate GP training participated in the study. Trainer scores on ` task perception' and on a scale of the trait ` neuroticism' correlated positively with frequency of feedback and quality of feedback content. Multiple regression analysis supported positive correlations between task perception and frequency of feedback and between neuroticism and quality of feedback content. No other correlations were found. Conclusion: This study contributes to the literature on feedback giving by revealing factors that influence feedback-giving behaviour, namely neuroticism and task perception. Trainers whose task perception included facilitation of observation and feedback (task perception) and trainers who were concerned about the safety of their patients during consultations with trainees (neuroticism) engaged more frequently in observation and feedback and gave feedback of higher quality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Medical Education
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


  • Feedback-giving
  • Neuroticism
  • Task perception
  • Big five


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