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.
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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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