Objective: The objective structured practical examination (OSPE) is a case-based assessment that can be used to assess the clinical reasoning ability of students. The reliability of using an OSPE for this purpose has not been reported in the literature. The objective of this study was to determine the interrater reliability of the OSPE in measuring the clinical reasoning ability of chiropractic students.
Methods: Two examiners tested each student simultaneously when enough were available as a check for interrater reliability. The scores for students over 4 exam administrations were compiled, and we calculated an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) using 1-way random single measures.
Results: Paired scores were available for 133 students. The ICC was .685, showing a fair-to-good level of agreement for faculty in assessing the clinical reasoning ability of chiropractic students using an OSPE.
Conclusion: The OSPE can be a valuable tool for testing clinical reasoning abilities because it can simulate the decision-making process that needs to be implemented in clinical practice. Faculty members at our chiropractic college were able to achieve an acceptable level of reliability in measuring the clinical reasoning abilities of students using an OSPE. Other health professional programs may consider using this tool for assessing the clinical reasoning skills of their students.
Author keywords: decision making, reliability of results, chiropractic, education
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