Self-esteem and audit feedback
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Self-esteem and audit feedback

Deborah Ward Self-employed nurse

Background Audits of clinical practice are regularly carried out in healthcare settings (NHSE 1996). As part of the audit process, results are fed back to the senior nurse or manager in the audit area, often in written form.

Conclusion This method of feedback has benefits for the person giving the audit results as it is a standardised method and less time-consuming. However, clinical staff need the opportunity to discuss the problems identified, if motivation is to be improved. There is also little benefit if feedback comments focus on what needs to be improved without looking at positive points. Some types of audit feedback can provide destructive criticism, which may have an adverse effect on nurses’ self-esteem. It should, however, be possible to adapt the way that feedback is given following audit to improve self-esteem and motivation.

Nursing Standard. 17, 37, 33-36. doi: 10.7748/ns2003.


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This article has been subject to double blind peer review

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