Become a Standardized Patient

How to Give Effective Feedback (CORBS)

Standardized Patients are a valued component of teaching and evaluating students as they:

  • Provide adult learners the opportunity to practice newly acquired skills, such as
    • Interviewing
    • Counselling
    • Physical examination
  • Provide learners with feedback on their performance

Why Provide Feedback?

  • The feedback provided during ……. may be the only opportunity for health sciences  students to hear directly from patients
  • Feedback is a critical component of Adult Learning
  • Feedback helps learners learn better and faster
  • Feedback improves communication and interaction skills
  • Feedback is critical to improving learners’ performance

Standardized patients (SPs) are specifically trained to accurately portray historical and physical findings. We use the CORBS model to train Standardized Patients to also provide effective feedback to students engaged in simulation-based learning.

Principles of CORBS:

  1. CLEAR – Give information clearly and concisely
  2. OWNED – Offer feedback as your perception, not the ultimate truth. Talk about how something made you feel. Use terms such as “I find” or “I felt” and not “You are”
  3. REGULAR – Feedback is offered immediately, or as soon as possible after the event
  4. BALANCED – Offer a reasonable balance of negative and positive feedback. DO NOT overload with negative feedback.
  5. SPECIFIC – Feedback should be based on observable behavior and behaviors that can be modified.
Feedback is most effective when given immediately.
  • It should include how the behavior made you feel as well as suggestions for changing or modifying the behavior.
  • You should only address behaviors that can be changed or modified.
  • There should be a balance between positive and constructive feedback.
  • Do not overload the student with a large amount of negative feedback.
  • When giving feedback you can address things they should continue doing exactly as they are now, things they should do more of, things they should do less of, and things they should stop doing.
  • When formulating feedback you should consider their communication skills and professional behavior. For example, did they use a lot of medical terminology that you didn’t understand? Did they ask multiple questions all in a row? What did their body language say to you? Did they greet you by name and make good eye contact?

The standardized patient should consider the following when providing feedback to learners:

  • Include how the behavior made you feel as well as suggestions for changing or modifying the behavior.
  • Only address behaviors that can be changed or modified.
  • Address things students should continue doing exactly as they are now, things they should do more of, things they should do less of, and things they should stop doing.
  • Consider the students’ communication skills and professional behavior. For example, did they use a lot of medical terminology that you didn’t understand? Did they ask multiple questions all in a row? What did their body language say to you? Did they greet you by name and make good eye contact?

Examples

Some examples of positive feedback:
  • Your smile and laughter put (the patient) at ease.
  • When you explained why (the patient) needed to be regular with the medication, he was able to understand.
Some examples of constructive feedback:
  • Greet your next patient by name. When you do that, the patient feels more valued as a person.
  • [the patient] felt overwhelmed by all the information you gave. She would have been able to take it all in if you would have prioritized the most important information in a couple of points.
The following is an example of feedback that could use some improvement:
  • You seem to be a little unsure of yourself at times.
  • Instead say: You paused for a number of times before asking (the patient) questions, so he felt that you were not sure where you were going to go next.

Here are some comments that SPs have made. How could you improve them?

  • You could have been more empathetic.
  • You didn’t seem to listen to me.
  • You did a really good job with your explanations.
  • You seemed very professional.
  • You have a wonderful manner with patients.

Hawkins, Peter; Smith, Nick: Coaching, Mentoring and Organization Consultancy: Supervision, Skills and Development: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. January 1, 2007