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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2022

Anna E. Sundström and Camilla Hakelind

Assessment of complex clinical skills and abilities is a challenge in mental health education. In the present study, an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE…

Abstract

Purpose

Assessment of complex clinical skills and abilities is a challenge in mental health education. In the present study, an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) was adapted to psychology and implemented in a Master in Psychology program. The purpose of the present study was to examine aspects of validity of this OSCE.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 55 students enrolled in the Master in the Psychology program at Umeå University, Sweden, participated in two OSCE occasions. In addition to OSCE data, questionnaires were administered immediately after the OSCE to students (n = 18) and examiners (n = 13) to examine their perceptions of the OSCE.

Findings

The results provided support for different aspects of validity. The level of internal consistency was close to acceptable, and there was a good correspondence between global ratings and checklist scores for many stations. However, adding an additional category to the global rating scale and reviewing some of the station checklists might improve the assessment further. The present cut-score of the OSCE was comparable to a cut-score set by the borderline regression model. In general, students and examiners perceived the OSCE as a high-quality examination, although examiners raised some issues that could improve the OSCE further.

Originality/value

In conclusion, OSCE is a promising assessment in psychology, both from a psychometric perspective and from a test-taker and examiner perspective. The present study is an important contribution to the field as there are only a few examples where OSCE has been used in clinical psychology, and to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to evaluate the validity of such an assessment.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

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