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The Influence of Prior Performance Information on Ratings of Current Performance and Implications for Learner Handover

A Scoping Review

Humphrey-Murto, Susan MD, MEd; LeBlanc, Aaron MD, MEd; Touchie, Claire MD, MHPE; Pugh, Debra MD, MHPE; Wood, Timothy J. PhD; Cowley, Lindsay MA; Shaw, Tammy MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002731
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Purpose Learner handover (LH) is the sharing of information about trainees between faculty supervisors. This scoping review aimed to summarize key concepts across disciplines surrounding the influence of prior performance information (PPI) on current performance ratings and implications for LH in medical education.

Method The authors used the Arksey and O’Malley framework to systematically select and summarize the literature. Cross-disciplinary searches were conducted in six databases in 2017–2018 for articles published after 1969. To represent PPI relevant to LH in medical education, eligible studies included within-subject indirect PPI for work-type performance and rating of an individual current performance. Quantitative and thematic analyses were conducted.

Results Of 24,442 records identified through database searches and 807 through other searches, 23 articles containing 24 studies were included. Twenty-two studies (92%) reported an assimilation effect (current ratings were biased toward the direction of the PPI). Factors modifying the effect of PPI were observed, with larger effects for highly polarized PPI, negative (vs positive) PPI, and early (vs subsequent) performances. Specific standards, rater motivation, and certain rater characteristics mitigated context effects, whereas increased rater processing demands heightened them. Mixed effects were seen with nature of the performance and with rater expertise and training.

Conclusions PPI appears likely to influence ratings of current performance, and an assimilation effect is seen with indirect PPI. Whether these findings generalize to medical education is unknown, but they should be considered by educators wanting to implement LH. Future studies should explore PPI in medical education contexts and real-world settings.

S. Humphrey-Murto is associate professor, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

A. LeBlanc is a fifth-year respirology resident, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

C. Touchie is associate professor, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

D. Pugh is associate professor, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

T.J. Wood is full professor, Department of Innovation in Medical Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

L. Cowley is a research assistant, Department of Innovation in Medical Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

T. Shaw is lecturer, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Funding/Support: This study was funded by a grant from the Department of Innovation in Medical Education at the University of Ottawa.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethnical approval: Reported as not applicable.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at http://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A665 and http://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A666.

Correspondence should be addressed to Susan Humphrey-Murto, Ottawa Hospital–Riverside Campus, 1967 Riverside Dr., Box 67, Ottawa, ONT, K1H 7W9; email: shumphrey@toh.on.ca.

© 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges