Nurses' perceptions of feedback to nursing teams on quality measurements: An embedded case study design

A.P.M. Giesbers*, Roel Schouteten, E. Poutsma, B.I.J.M. van der Heijden, T. Achterberg

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Providing nursing teams with feedback on quality measurements is used as a quality improvement instrument in healthcare organizations worldwide. Previous research indicated contradictory results regarding the effect of such feedback on both nurses’ well-being and performance.

    Building on the Job Demands-Resources model this study explores: (1) whether and how nurses’ perceptions of feedback on quality measurements (as a burdening job demand or rather as an intrinsically or extrinsically motivating job resource) are respectively related to nurses’ well-being and performance; and (2) whether and how team reflection influences nurses’ perceptions.

    An embedded case study.

    Four surgical wards within three different acute teaching-hospital settings in the Netherlands.

    During a period of four months, the nurses on each ward were provided with similar feedback on quality measurements. After this period, interviews with eight nurses and the ward manager for each ward were conducted. Additionally, observational data were collected from three oral feedback moments on each of the participating wards.

    The data revealed that individual nurses perceive the same feedback on quality measurements differently, leading to different effects on nurses’ well-being and performance: 1) feedback can be perceived as a job demand that pressures nurses to improve the results on the quality measurements; 2) feedback can be perceived as an extrinsically motivating job resource, that is instrumental to improve the results on quality measurements; 3) feedback can be perceived as an intrinsically motivating job resource that stimulates nurses to improve the results on the quality measurements; and 4) feedback can be perceived neither as a job demand, nor as a job resource, and has no effect on nurses’ well-being and performance. Additionally, this study indicates that team reflection after feedback seems to be very low in practice, while our data also provides evidence that nursing teams using the feedback to jointly reflect and analyse their performance and strategies will be able to better translate information about quality measurements into corrective behaviours, which may result in more positive perceptions of feedback on quality measurements among individual nurses.

    To better understand the impact of feedback to nursing teams on quality measurements, we should take nurses’ individual perceptions of this feedback into account. Supporting nursing teams in team reflection after them having received feedback on quality measurements may help in eliciting positive perceptions among nurses, and therewith create positive effects of feedback on both their well-being and performance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)120-129
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


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