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© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and The Association for the Study of Medical Education Context: Meta-analyses have shown that feedback can be a powerful intervention to increase learning and performance but there is significant variability in impact. New trials are adding little to the question of whether feedback interventions are effective, so the focus now is how to optimise the effect. Early career professionals (ECPs) in busy work environments are a particularly important target group. This literature review aimed to synthesise information to support the optimal design of feedback interventions for ECPs. Methods: We undertook a scoping literature review, using search terms such as ‘feedback’ and ‘effectiveness’ in MEDLINE, MEDLINE-In-Process, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Education Research Complete, Education Resources Information Center, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Social Sciences Citation Index and Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts, to identify empirical studies describing feedback interventions in busy workplaces published in English since 1990. We applied inclusion criteria to identify studies for the mapping stage and extracted key data to inform the next stage. We then selected a subset of papers for the framework development stage, which were subjected to a thematic synthesis by three authors, leading to a new feedback framework and a modified version of feedback intervention theory specifically for ECPs. Results: A total of 80 studies were included in the mapping stage, with roughly equal studies from hospital settings and school classrooms, and 17 papers were included in the framework development stage. The feedback framework comprised three main categories (audit, feedback and goal setting) and 22 subcategories. The review highlighted the limited empirical research focusing solely on feedback for ECPs, which was surprising given the particular nuances in feedback for ECPs identified through this study. Conclusions: We offer the feedback framework to optimise the design of future feedback interventions for early career professionals and encourage future feedback research to move away from generic models and tailor work to specific target audiences.

Original publication




Journal article


Medical Education

Publication Date





355 - 368