Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Assessment Tools for Interpersonal and Communication Skills

360-Degree (Multi-Source) Assessment Techniques

360-degree (Multi-Source) assessment involves evaluation by individuals in a full circle of reporting relationships. For residents, 360-degree (Multi-Source) assessment might entail evaluation by attendings, other residents, medical students, nurses, ancillary staff, and clerical/administrative support staff. Selfevaluation is an important part of the 360-degree (Multi-Source) assessment.

The 360-degree (Multi-Source) assessment tool from the Urology Resident Evaluation System10 is provided on the following page. The items were derived from the professionalism and communication skills literature and modified using comments from two physician reviewers. Pilot testing of the instrument is in progress; evaluation of the instrument’s reliability and validity will be conducted as a part of the pilot.

Suggestions when using a 360-degree (Multi-Source) Assessment:

• Ask members of the healthcare team (e.g. nurses, technicians, allied health professionals, resident peers) to complete a 360- degree (Multi- Source) evaluation immediately following a rotation in order to capture a current snapshot of the resident’s performance.
• Collect 360-degree (Multi-Source) assessment data and give residents
aggregate feedback at the biyearly meeting with the Program Director (this helps protect the anonymity of the raters).
• Use an electronic database to manage the information.
• Include a resident self-evaluation to compare the resident’s self-perception of their skills with the information from the other 360 evaluators.


• Multiple perspectives on resident abilities can be obtained
• Ratings from multiple evaluators can help increase data validity and reliability
• Residents’ ability to accurately self-assess may improve through comparison of self-and other assessments.


• A large number of evaluators may be needed before a stable estimate of performance is obtained
• Electronic data systems are needed to ease the difficulty of collecting and aggregating data

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