A comprehensive checklist for reporting the use of OSCEs
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BACKGROUND: The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) has experienced an explosion of use which has rarely been accompanied by systematic investigations on its validity, reliability and feasibility. A systematic review of OSCE was undertaken as part of Best Evidence Medical Education at the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon. Several problems were identified with published papers relating to completeness of information presented, methodological issues or the use of terminology. AIM: To identify a need for standardization within the reporting of OSCE studies in medical education based in the first 104 papers of the aforementioned review. METHOD: Two independent reviewers coded each paper. RESULTS: The most important problem identified was the lack of information, followed by the degree of inconsistency when reporting on OSCEs (papers with missing data and papers where data was given in a way that interpretation is difficult or impossible in terms of evidence; heterogeneity in reporting, lack of a standardized vocabulary, statistical errors and lack of structure within reporting). CONCLUSIONS: The authors present a 'Comprehensive Checklist for those describing the use of OSCEs in the report of educational literature' as an attempt to encourage better report standards.
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