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Table 2 Example research topics for optimizing audit and feedback

From: No more ‘business as usual’ with audit and feedback interventions: towards an agenda for a reinvigorated intervention

Factors related to context and/or recipient
Characteristics of the recipient • Engagement in audit and/or in feedback design
  • Goal orientation of recipients
  • Degree of motivation to improve performance
  • Training of recipients to understand and act on feedback
  • Profession of recipient and/or multi-disciplinary feedback
Characteristics of the setting • Location (e.g., hospital versus clinic, national setting)
  • Organizational resources
  • Size of the team responsible for outcomes of interest
Co-interventions • Time and/or standardized support to reflect upon feedback
  • Impact of combining A&F with one of the following:
  • Incentives or penalties (financial, CME, licensing)
  • Tools and practise aids (clinical decision tool)
  • Education (academic detailing, group learning)
  • Practice redesign (coaches, facilitation, mentorship)
Factors related to intervention design
Nature of delivery of the information • Mode of delivery of feedback (e.g., paper, electronic, face-to-face)
  • Length, duration
  • Perceived credibility of the source and/or competence of the presenter
  • Different sources (peer versus supervisor versus external group)
  • Frequency of feedback
  • Role of social pressure, dissemination/visibility of information to peer-group
Nature of the content • Sign of the message (positive versus negative)
  • Graded feedback (starting positive)
  • Type of benchmarks and/or comparison information
  • Type action plans or correct solution information
  • Level of aggregation of feedback data (individual versus team)
  • Role for intermediate outcomes/process measures versus patient-level outcomes
Characteristics of the targeted behaviours • Perceived importance of the target relative to other priorities
  • Observability of improvement (whether impact of using a new practice can be seen quickly)
  • The degree to which the recommended practice requires changes in habits and routines
  • Complexity of targeted behaviours (number of indicators reported or behavioural changes required and skill level necessary for desired behaviour change)