Systematic review of clinical debriefing tools: attributes and evidence for use

Link to article at PubMed

BMJ Qual Saf. 2023 Mar 28:bmjqs-2022-015464. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2022-015464. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Clinical debriefing (CD) following a clinical event has been found to confer benefits for staff and has potential to improve patient outcomes. Use of a structured tool to facilitate CD may provide a more standardised approach and help overcome barriers to CD; however, we presently know little about the tools available. This systematic review aimed to identify tools for CD in order to explore their attributes and evidence for use.

METHODS: A systematic review was conducted in line with PRISMA standards. Five databases were searched. Data were extracted using an electronic form and analysed using critical qualitative synthesis. This was guided by two frameworks: the '5 Es' (defining attributes of CD: educated/experienced facilitator, environment, education, evaluation and emotions) and the modified Kirkpatrick's levels. Tool utility was determined by a scoring system based on these frameworks.

RESULTS: Twenty-one studies were included in the systematic review. All the tools were designed for use in an acute care setting. Criteria for debriefing were related to major or adverse clinical events or on staff request. Most tools contained guidance on facilitator role, physical environment and made suggestions relating to psychological safety. All tools addressed points for education and evaluation, although few described a process for implementing change. Staff emotions were variably addressed. Many tools reported evidence for use; however, this was generally low-level, with only one tool demonstrating improved patient outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Recommendations for practice based on the findings are made. Future research should aim to further examine outcomes evidence of these tools in order to optimise the potential of CD tools for individuals, teams, healthcare systems and patients.

PMID:36977575 | DOI:10.1136/bmjqs-2022-015464

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