Improving the assessment of communication competencies in a national licensing OSCE: lessons learned from an experts’ symposium

Monti, Matteo; Klöckner-Cronauer, Christina; Hautz, Stephanie C.; Schnabel, Kai P.; Breckwoldt, Jan; Junod-Perron, Noëlle; Feller, Sabine; Bonvin, Raphael; Huwendiek, Sören (2020). Improving the assessment of communication competencies in a national licensing OSCE: lessons learned from an experts’ symposium. BMC medical education, 20(1), p. 171. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12909-020-02079-4

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Background: As the communication competencies of physicians are crucial for providing optimal patient care, their assessment in the context of the high-stakes Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is of paramount importance. Despite abundant literature on the topic, evidence-based recommendations for the assessment of communication competencies in high stakes OSCEs are scarce. As part of a national project to improve communication-competencies assessments in the Swiss licensing exam, we held a symposium with national and international experts to derive corresponding guidelines. Methods: Experts were invited on account of their recognized expertise either in teaching or assessing communication competencies, or in conducting national high-stakes OSCEs. They were asked to propose concrete solutions related to four potential areas for improvement: the station design, the rating tool, the raters’ training, and the role of standardized patients. Data gene.rated in the symposium was available for analysis and consisted of video recordings of plenary sessions, of the written summaries of group work, and the cards with participants’ personal take-home messages. Data were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. Results: Nine major suggestions for improving communication-competencies assessments emerged from the analysis and were classified into four categories, namely, the roles of the OSCE scenarios, rating tool, raters’ training, and simulated patients. Conclusion: In the absence of established evidence-based guidelines, an experts’ symposium facilitated the identification of nine practical suggestions for improving the assessment of communication competencies in the context of high-stakes OSCEs. Further research is needed to test effectiveness of the suggestions and how they contribute to improvements in the quality of high-stakes communication-competencies assessment. © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute for Medical Education
04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute for Medical Education > Education and Media Unit (AUM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute for Medical Education > Assessment and Evaluation Unit (AAE)

UniBE Contributor:

Schnabel, Kai; Feller, Sabine and Huwendiek, Sören

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1472-6920

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Eveline Götschmann-Meile

Date Deposited:

30 Jun 2020 15:25

Last Modified:

05 Jul 2020 02:43

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/s12909-020-02079-4

PubMed ID:

32456675

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.144706

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/144706

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