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OBJECTIVES: To explore the current status of performance feedback (debriefing) in the operating room and to develop and evaluate an evidence-based, user-informed intervention termed "SHARP" to improve debriefing in surgery. BACKGROUND: Effective debriefing is a key educational technique for optimizing learning in surgical settings. However, there is a lack of a debriefing culture within surgery. Few studies have prospectively evaluated educational interventions to improve the quality and quantity of performance feedback in surgery. METHODS: This was a prospective pre- and post-study of 100 cases involving 22 trainers (attendings) and 30 surgical residents (postgraduate years 3-8). A trained researcher assessed the quality of debriefings provided to the trainee using the validated Objective Structured Assessment of Debriefing (OSAD) tool alongside ethnographic observation. Following the first 50 cases, an educational intervention termed "SHARP" was introduced and measures repeated for a further 50 cases. User satisfaction with SHARP was assessed via questionnaire. Twenty percent of the cases were observed independently by a second researcher to test interrater reliability. RESULTS: Interrater reliability for OSAD was excellent (ICC = 0.994). Objective scores of debriefing (OSAD) improved significantly after the SHARP intervention: median pre = 19 (range, 8-31); median post = 33 (range, 26-40), P < 0.001. Strong correlations between observer (OSAD) and trainee rating of debriefing were obtained (median ρ = 0.566, P < 0.01). Ethnographic observations also supported a significant improvement in both quality and style of debriefings. Users reported high levels of satisfaction in terms of usefulness, feasibility, and comprehensiveness of the SHARP tool. CONCLUSIONS: SHARP is an effective and efficient means of improving performance feedback in the operating room. Its routine use should be promoted to optimize workplace-based learning and foster a positive culture of debriefing and performance improvement within surgery.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann Surg

Publication Date





958 - 963


Clinical Competence, Evaluation Studies as Topic, Feedback, Female, Humans, Internship and Residency, Male, Operating Rooms, Prospective Studies, Specialties, Surgical, Surveys and Questionnaires, Task Performance and Analysis