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Utilization of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) as an Assessment for Clinical Competency and Licensure: A survey of dental hygiene directors' knowledge and attitudes.

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  • Source:
    Journal of Dental Hygiene. Dec2020, Vol. 94 Issue 6, p65-71. 7p. 3 Charts, 3 Graphs.
  • Additional Information
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    • Abstract:
      Purpose: Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) have been established as a gold standard assessment for determining clinical competence. The Coalition for Dental Licensure Reform called for the acceptance of the Dental Licensure Objective Structured Clinical Examination (DLOSCE) to replace the live-patient examinations (LPE) for dental licensure, which are often viewed as biased, unreliable, and in some cases unethical. The purpose of this study was to assess dental hygiene program directors' awareness of and attitudes toward the DLOSCE, whether their curricula included OSCEs, and perceived barriers to implementing OSCEs. Methods: A nine-question electronic survey was developed, and pilot tested by five-dental hygiene program directors across three-dental hygiene institutions. The survey was emailed to the directors of all dental hygiene program directors in the United States (n=332). Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Results: A response rate of 36% (n=121) was achieved. Nearly 30% of respondents were unaware of the developing DLOSCE, however, the majority (80%) were in favor of the acceptance of the examination. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents considered OSCEs as valid assessments of clinical competence, however, over half of the respondents reported not currently utilizing OSCEs in their curricula. Barriers reported were time (22%), perceived lack of best practices (21%), and lack of resources (18%). Respondents who currently employed OSCEs were more likely to agree they were both valid and reliable assessments (p=0.05). Conclusion: The majority of dental hygiene program directors were in favor of eliminating the single-encounter LPE in favor of an OSCE for licensure. However, more than half do not currently utilize OSCEs for clinical assessments. Further studies are needed to explore implementation of OSCEs in dental hygiene education, and how a potential dental hygiene licensure OSCE might impact the current curricula and licensure of dental hygienists in the United States. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]