Exploring the content and delivery of feedback facilitation co-interventions: a systematic review

Michael Sykes*, Zahava Rosenberg-Yunger, Matthew Quigley, Lavanya Gupta, Owen Thomas, Lisa Robinson, Karen Caulfield, Noah Ivers, Sarah Alderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Background: Policymakers and researchers recommend supporting the capabilities of feedback recipients to increase the quality of care. There are different ways to support capabilities. We aimed to describe the content and delivery of feedback facilitation interventions delivered alongside audit and feedback within randomised controlled trials. 

Methods: We included papers describing feedback facilitation identified by the latest Cochrane review of audit and feedback. The piloted extraction proforma was based upon a framework to describe intervention content, with additional prompts relating to the identification of influences, selection of improvement actions and consideration of priorities and implications. We describe the content and delivery graphically, statistically and narratively. 

Results: We reviewed 146 papers describing 104 feedback facilitation interventions. Across included studies, feedback facilitation contained 26 different implementation strategies. There was a median of three implementation strategies per intervention and evidence that the number of strategies per intervention is increasing. Theory was used in 35 trials, although the precise role of theory was poorly described. Ten studies provided a logic model and six of these described their mechanisms of action. Both the exploration of influences and the selection of improvement actions were described in 46 of the feedback facilitation interventions; we describe who undertook this tailoring work. Exploring dose, there was large variation in duration (15–1800 min), frequency (1 to 42 times) and number of recipients per site (1 to 135). There were important gaps in reporting, but some evidence that reporting is improving over time. 

Conclusions: Heterogeneity in the design of feedback facilitation needs to be considered when assessing the intervention’s effectiveness. We describe explicit feedback facilitation choices for future intervention developers based upon choices made to date. We found the Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change to be valuable when describing intervention components, with the potential for some minor clarifications in terms and for greater specificity by intervention providers. Reporting demonstrated extensive gaps which hinder both replication and learning. Feedback facilitation providers are recommended to close reporting gaps that hinder replication. Future work should seek to address the ‘opportunity’ for improvement activity, defined as factors that lie outside the individual that make care or improvement behaviour possible. 

Review registration: The study protocol was published at: https://www.protocols.io/private/4DA5DE33B68E11ED9EF70A58A9FEAC02.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37
Number of pages35
JournalImplementation Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2024

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