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Table 1 Final consensus scores and bivariate analyses of gender differences in responses

From: Identifying best practice for the supervision of mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian emergencies: a Delphi study

  Final consensus
score
Female
M (SD)
Male
M (SD)
t-values p
Active listening is an important supervisory skill. This is demonstrated through (1) non-verbal signals, e.g. making eye contact, nodding or leaning forward to show that you are engaged, and (2) verbal practices, e.g. reflecting back or summarising what someone has told you, to check that you have understood it correctly. 100% 4.92 (0.28) 4.64 (0.51) t (12) =1.75 0.10
Supervision works best if there are multiple tiers of supervision. For example, supervisors should also have access to supervision themselves. 98% 4.56 (0.58) 4.45 (0.52) t (34) = 0.52 0.61
Socratic questioning is a style of questioning that encourages logical reasoning, e.g. “If this is the case, then what will happen?” This type of questioning is a useful way for supervisors to encourage supervisees to use their knowledge to find solutions to problems independently. 97% 4.48 (0.51) 4.64 (0.51) t (34) = -0.85 0.40
Supervision in the field of MHPSS and protection should include a focus on teaching or coaching the supervisee in specific skills. 95% 4.54 (0.76) 4.73 (0.47) t (35) = −0.76 0.45
Interpreters who engage in supervision sessions should also have access to their own supervision and supports to help them manage difficult material discussed. 95% 4.48 (0.65) 4.55 (0.52) t (34) = -0.29 0.77
Supervision is an essential component of any MHPSS training. 94% 4.60 (0.87) 4.82 (0.41) t (34) = -0.79 0.43
Building supervisee’s confidence and sense of professional self-esteem is a core goal of supervision. 92% 4.44 (0.82) 4.36 (0.51) t (34) = 0.29 0.78
Where the supervisor is also the supervisee’s manager, it is important that the supervisor clearly differentiates the boundaries of the two roles for the supervisee. For example, managerial and supervisory meetings should be held separately so that the two functions do not become confused. 92% 4.60 (0.65) 4.82 (0.41) t (29) = −1.23 0.23
Supervision in the field of MHPSS and protection should provide emotional support to the supervisee. 91% 4.60 (0.58) 4.27 (0.79) t (34) = 1.40 0.17
The ideal group size for group supervision is no more than 5 -6 supervisees. 90% 4.12 (0.67) 3.91 (0.83) t (34) = 0.81 0.42
It is important for interpreters in MHPSS and protection interventions to sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect client confidentiality. 90% 4.56 (0.92) 4.45 (0.82) t (34) = 0.33 0.75
Supervision in the field of MHPSS and protection should include some means of checking intervention fidelity. 90% 4.23 (0.86) 4.27 (0.65) t (35) = −0.15 0.89
The best way for a supervisee to prepare for a supervision session is to reflect on what they find to be most challenging in their work, including specific cases, how they are managing stress in their work, and what they feel is going well. 89% 4.32 (0.63) 4.09 (0.54) t (34) = 1.05 0.30
The ‘gold standard’ in supervision (i.e. the best possible approach) is: individualised supervision, delivered face-to-face by an external supervisor, who is not the supervisee’s manager. This should be available at all stages of providers’ professional practice. Sessions should be scheduled regularly (e.g. weekly, biweekly or monthly) or as frequently as required by the supervisee. Complementary approaches may be used in combination with individual supervision, but not as a replacement e.g. peer support or group sessions to facilitate multi-disciplinary case presentations. 89% 4.40 (0.87) 4.09 (0.94) t (34) = 0.96 0.34
Good supervision should always involve goal-setting combined with focused feedback, and work towards these goals should be documented within sessions to enable supervisees to track their progress over time 87% 4.12 (1.01) 4.36 (0.67) t (34) = −0.73 0.47
Supervisors should leave space at the end of every supervisory session to allow for discussion of what is working well in supervision, and what may be working less well. 86% 4.32 (0.95) 4.36 (0.92) t (34) = −0.13 0.90
The issue of power dynamics between supervisor and supervisee is best addressed directly in supervision, by openly discussing sources of power and privilege that may be held by the supervisor and/or supervisee and how these might influence the supervisory relationship. 86% 4.00 (0.76) 4.55 (0.52) t (34) = -2.15 0.04*
A supervision contract is the best way to ensure that the organization, supervisor, and supervisee are all in agreement about each of their roles within supervision and the nature, duration, and focus of the supervision relationship. 84% 4.36 (0.57) 3.82 (0.98) t (13) = 1.71 0.11
Gender is essential to consider when pairing supervisors with supervisees, and gender compositions of supervisors-supervisee pairs should be considered on a context-by-context basis. 84% 4.36 (0.70) 4.00 (0.78) t (34) = 1.38 0.18
In emergency contexts, it is essential to make concessions on how supervision sessions are conducted, but not on core aspects such as confidentiality. 82% 4.00 (1.26) 4.36 (0.51) t (34) = −0.92 0.36
Supervisees should be able to discuss anything that affects their work during supervision sessions—even personal matters. 76% 3.84 (0.85) 4.27 (0.79) t (34) = −1.44 0.16
The skills needed to be a good supervisor, such as empathy, unconditional positive regard, and being a good active listener can be developed through training. 73% 3.96 (0.75) 4.09 (0.83) t (33) = −0.47 0.64
With some additional effort, it is possible for remote supervision to be as successful as face-to-face supervision 68% 3.42 (1.06) 4.09 (0.70) t (28) = -2.23 0.03*
The ‘sandwich approach’ (i.e. providing positive reinforcement before and after providing constructive criticism) is the best way for supervisors to deliver feedback. 67% 4.00 (0.76) 3.70 (1.06) t (33) = 0.94 0.36
Peer supervision should only take place between experienced professionals to avoid the risk of misinformation being communicated 57% 3.30 (1.33) 3.82 (0.98) t (32) = -1.14 0.26
Monitoring and evaluation tools, such as feedback forms, are the best way to ensure quality supervision in MHPSS and protection programming and supervisee progress. 51% 3.72 (0.98) 3.91 (1.14) t (34) = −0.51 0.62
 A key role of the supervisor is to guide supervisees’ discovery in relation to how to enhance the quality of MHPSS service delivery. 51% 3.38 (1.17) 4.18 (0.75) t (29) = −2.45 0.02*
Supervision can only be considered supervision when taking place in specially designated spaces, such as an office, meeting room or other private space. 16% 2.50 (1.14) 2.45 (1.13) t (33) = 0.11 0.91
  1. Items that reached consensus are highlighted in bold. * denotes significance at alpha level of 0.05