WCPT Africa Region Conference System, 9th WCPT Africa Region Congress

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Physiotherapy Students Perception about Objective Structured Clinical Examination
Narasimman Swaminathan, Niranjan GV

Last modified: 2013-06-10


Assessment is an important component of curriculum, which should evaluate whether the objectives of the course has been met.  The Indian Educational system in health sciences has seen changes made to both the delivery of course as well as evaluation systems. Evaluation of skills has been a subject of discussion in recent times. The present methods of assessment of skills   lack objectivity and hence does not meet validation of assessment of psychomotor domain.  Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) has been well accepted and utilized in health care education due to its advantages over the traditional teaching and assessment methods.  Physiotherapy practice requires working within movement dysfunction. Hence Physiotherapy education has a high component of skills training as the learning outcomes. Examining the psychomotor domain of the students both in formative stage as well as summative stage is vital. With this background this study was designed to assess the student’s acceptability of this particular type of assessment method, so that this method could be implemented in the university examination.


A consultative committee including physiotherapy faculty members and seniors professor of Medical education was constituted. After initial discussions it was decided to train the faculty members in OSCE/OSPE. Four workshops were organised in this regard at various colleges affiliated with RGUHS. During the workshops different stations from exercise therapy subject were prepared. Common consensuses were obtained from the faculty members regarding the stations. The stations were validated at the end of the training workshops. Students of two different colleges were trained with OSCE by the faculty members who attended the workshop. Pre – Post questionnaire were distributed to 24 students of two different colleges 12 from each. The students were given guidelines on the OSCE assessment. The questionnaire was designed to find out the students perception about OSCE. The questionnaire consisted of  8 questions, for which the response was sought on a Likert scale of  from 1 to 5 with 1 representing strongly disagree to 5 indicating strongly agree. 


The data   collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics and test of significance‘t’ test to compare the pre and posttest response.  In the post test score 70 % of the students felt that they were well informed about the scoring, while it was only 37 % as per pretest score  Majority of the students  (71 %) felt OSCE is better compared to their traditional examination. Various aspects of practical exams like uniformity (66%), assessment of real life situations (61%), and assessment of skills (71%) were better in OSCE when compared to traditional method.


Based on this preliminary study OSCE appears to be a better method in assessing exercise therapy skills of physiotherapy students as per their perception. This study will need to be done on a larger sample size before introducing OSCE as a method of evaluating skills. 

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