Document Type : Original Article



Introduction: Assessment for practical skills in medical education needs improvement from
subjective methods to objective ones. An Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE)
has been considered as one such method. This study is an attempt to evaluate the feasibility
of using OSPE as a tool for the formative assessment of undergraduate medical education
in pharmacology. Materials and Methods: Students of second year MBBS, at the end of the
first term, were assessed by both the conventional practical examination and the Objective
Structured Practical Examination (OSPE). A five‑station OSPE was conducted one week after
the conventional examination. The scores obtained in both were compared and a Bland Altman
plot was also used for comparison of the two methods. Perceptions of students regarding the
new method were obtained using a questionnaire. Results: There was no significant difference
in the mean scores between the two methods (P = 0.44) using the unpaired t test. The Bland
Altman plot comparing the CPE (conventional practical examination) with the OSPE showed that
96% of the differences in the scores between OSPE and CPE were within the acceptable limit
of 1.96 SD. Regarding the students’ perceptions of OSPE compared to CPE, 73% responded
that OSPE could partially or completely replace CPE. OSPE was judged as an objective and
unbiased test as compared to CPE, by 66.4% of the students. Conclusion: Use of OSPE is
feasible for formative assessment in the undergraduate pharmacology curriculum.


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