Using OSCEs with simulation to maximise student learning and assess competencies in psychology: A pilot study

Rachel Roberts, Anna Chur-Hansen, Helen Winefield, Simon Patten, Helena Ward, Diana Dorstyn


Introduction: There is limited research on the use of objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) in psychology despite their extensive use in medicine. This pilot study extended the evidence base by assessing the impact on student learning of OSCEs focused on motivational interviewing. 

Methods: A mixed-methods approach was used with quantitative and qualitative data analysed. Data were collated from all 14 professional psychology students enrolled in a health psychology course. 

Results: Findings suggest that OSCEs are a feasible, reliable and valid method for professional psychology trainees to demonstrate competencies in complex, interventional skills. 

Conclusions: Implications for incorporating OSCEs into professional psychology training are described. Future work addressing issues including optimal approaches to provision of feedback for learning is needed.


OSCE; Objective Structured Clinical Examinations; simulation; competency; training; psychology

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