What can we learn about debriefing from other high-risk/high-stakes industries?

Ralph MacKinnon, Suzanne Gough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Objectives: To explore the debriefing methodologies utilised in high-risk/high-stakes industries with the intention of informing healthcare practice.

Methods: A sequential mixed methods approach was adopted to explore the use of feedback/debriefing methodologies in ten different industries. A first phase standardised survey focused on timing of debriefing post-event, debriefing techniques used, duration of debrief provision, technology used, and follow-up provision. A second phase observational study at one site (aerobatic team) explored debriefing in detail with a standardised tool and semi-structured interview technique.

Results: This study highlighted variability in debriefing practices, style, and duration amongst ten high-risk/high-stakes industries. The second phase observation study identified a highly effective method of self-directed video-based auto-debriefing.

Conclusions: Debriefing after critical or routine events is common practice in a range of high-risk/high-stakes industries. A key theme was the recognition of the importance of debriefing to promote reflection to increase performance and mitigate risk. Further in-depth qualitative analysis of the adoption of these debriefing techniques into healthcare and simulated practice is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere174
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2014


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