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The role of feedback in training psychiatrists

Patricia S. Rubí González (Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Medical School, University of Concepción, Concepción, Chile)
Luis De la Barra Vivallos (Department of Philosophy, University of Concepción, Concepción, Chile)
Hardy Schaefer (Concepción, Chile)
Pablo Vergara-Barra (Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Concepción, Concepción, Chile)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 25 June 2019

Issue publication date: 15 July 2019




Feedback is a tool that informs students about their learning process and facilitates necessary changes. It looks for the students’ own perceptions of their performance and how to improve it, developing permanent learning skills vital for autonomous practice. It is useful for improving one’s performance, clinical skills, communication and treatment of patients. If carried out improperly, it causes a lack of motivation and a collapse in the teacher–student relationship. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the perceptions and experiences of the residents and graduates of the psychiatry specialty at the Universidad of Concepción with respect to the feedback received on their performance during their training.


The study was conducted using a qualitative approach of an exploratory, descriptive and interpretative nature that was also based on Grounded Theory. Ten in-depth voluntary interviews were conducted with residents-in-training and graduates from within the last two years of the Adult Psychiatry specialty at the Universidad of Concepción. Subsequently, the data were codified to create a theoretical model.


The interpersonal teacher–resident relationship, when based on collaboration and an openness to dialogue, is fundamental in producing effective feedback.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this study were based mainly on the qualitative methodology used, so it is not possible to generalize the results. Although the above limitation, this study seems to reaffirm the importance of feedback for residents in training, so it would be advisable to reproduce it in various training contexts and extend it to the perception of the teachers involved. On the other hand, to follow this research line, it is essential to create instruments that facilitate the use of quantitative research methodology, which allows the generalization and comparison of results in different areas.

Social implications

This research opens a first line of research regarding subjective experience when receiving feedback, which will allow the creation of instruments to objectify how it is being developed in different educational contexts and to propose strategies to standardize its realization.


There are no other studies of this type published. The originality of this research was that beyond the mention made about the known characteristics that a feedback must have to be effective, the participants gave special emphasis to the fact that it is a social relationship, which should be based on a horizontal interaction between two actors, in addition to promoting dialogue and mutual involvement in the task that brings them together. Thus it is an effective teaching strategy, fulfilling the objective of motivating the learning and autonomy of the resident.



Rubí González, P.S., De la Barra Vivallos, L., Schaefer, H. and Vergara-Barra, P. (2019), "The role of feedback in training psychiatrists", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 242-250.



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