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Knowing you have been formally assessed as competent: Rheumatology practitioners' views of an osce

Hammond, Alison; Ryan, Sarah J.


Sarah J. Ryan


Background: The objective structured clinical evaluation (OSCE) is increasingly being used to evaluate clinical skills and reasoning ability in under- and postgraduate programmes. Effectiveness of a Rheumatology OSCE has been evaluated in an MSc Rheumatology Nursing programme (Keele University) and demonstrated to be a valid and reliable method (1). The arc Graduate Certificate in Rheumatology Practice (GCRP) also includes an OSCE in the ‘‘Clinical Evaluation’’ module. This study aimed to further evaluate rheumatology practitioners’ perceptions of the appropriateness of an OSCE in assessing their clinical abilities.
Methods: The Keele team devised and conducted the arc GCRP OSCE. The five OSCE stations were: history taking, 28 joint count, interpreting a Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), clinical assessment and devising a management plan. All stations lasted 10 minutes with 5 minutes discussion. As part of the course evaluation process, one week post- OSCE all students were asked to complete a questionnaire. This was closely based on that in the previous study (1), apart from 3 items modified to reflect different station content. Opinions of students were summarised. GCRP and MSc Rheumatology Nurse student responses were compared using Mann-Whitney tests for 16 items.
Results: Nine GCRP students participated (5 nurses; 2 PTs; 2 OTs) with median rheumatology experience of 5 years (IQR 2-9.5). The majority (>¼7/9) agreed/ strongly agreed the OSCE was: worthwhile; reflected module learning objectives; assessed appropriately; should be used for the next cohort; not anxiety provoking; and allowed them to demonstrate their ability to perform a 28 joint count, interpret the HAQ and discuss a management plan. In general views accorded with the MSc students apart from greater concern about its accuracy in assessing some of their abilities (p ¼ 0.03) as the artificial nature was a constraint (p ¼ 0.01) and they were less likely to have been formally assessed previously (p ¼ 0.06). Concerns were mainly about accuracy of assessing history taking and clinical assessment abilities, due to lack of time.
Conclusions: GCRP students were slightly less positive than MSc students - primarily related to two stations needing more time - and may be because they had mostly not been assessed in this manner previously. Changes to these stations were made as a result. However, overall the OSCE was perceived as a relevant and worthwhile assessment of clinical skills and reasoning. ‘‘Knowing you have been formally observed and assessed as competent will increase my confidence.’’


Hammond, A., & Ryan, S. J. (2008). Knowing you have been formally assessed as competent: Rheumatology practitioners' views of an osce. Rheumatology,

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Publication Date 2008
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2023
Journal Rheumatology
Print ISSN 1462-0324
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed