This paper describes the systematic development, design, and field pretest of the Feedback Quality Index (FQI) - a brief survey for assessing feedback regularity and quality in a clinical setting. Medical educators need this type of tool so they can identify specific problems related to feedback provision and evaluate the impact of efforts designed to address those problems. The purposes of this study are to provide evidence for the feasibility and validity of the tool and to provide guidance and suggestions regarding its use.
Decisions regarding the design and implementation of the FQI were guided by a systematic approach to survey development to ensure that common sources of non-sampling error were identified and addressed. A field pretest implementation was conducted to gather evidence regarding the feasibility of the tool and the validity of the data. Feasibility was assessed based on the effort needed to administer, complete, and analyze the FQI while evidence for validity was based on an analysis of question quality.
Field pretest results indicated that the FQI can be feasibly administered, completed, and analyzed. An analysis of question quality revealed that most questions were understood correctly by respondents and the level of detail they provide in describing the feedback received provides evidence for the accuracy of their recollections.
The current version of the FQI is a useful tool that programs could use to assess feedback frequency and quality, identify specific problems, and evaluate efforts to address those problems. Additional studies need to be conducted to further assess and improve the validity of the FQI. Such efforts will not only improve the accuracy of the FQI but could also enhance our conceptual understanding of what constitutes effective feedback in the clinical setting.