The Objective Structured Video Exam for assessment of communication skills

Med Educ. 2000 Nov;34(11):939-45. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2000.00792.x.


Objectives: (i) To design a new, quick and efficient method of assessing specific cognitive aspects of trainee clinical communication skills, to be known as the Objective Structured Video Exam (OSVE) (Study 1); (ii) to prepare a scoring scheme for markers (Study 2); and (iii) to determine reliability and evidence for validity of the OSVE (Study 3).

Methods: Study 1 describes how the exam was designed. The OSVE assesses the student's recognition and understanding of the consequences of various communication skills. In addition, the assessment taps the number of alternative skills that the student believes will be of assistance in improving the patient-doctor interaction. Study 2 outlines the scoring system that is based on a range of 50 marks. Study 3 reports inter-rater consistency and presents evidence to support the validity of the new assessment by associating the marks from 607 1st year undergraduate medical students with their performance ratings in a communication skills OSCE.

Setting: Medical school, The University of Liverpool.

Results: Preparation of a scoring scheme for the OSVE produced consistent marking. The reliability of the marking scheme was high (ICC=0.94). Evidence for the construct validity of the OSVE was found when a moderate predicted relationship of the OSVE to interviewing behaviour in the communication skills OSCE was shown (r=0.17, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: A new video-based written examination (the OSVE) that is efficient and quick to administer was shown to be reliable and to demonstrate some evidence for validity.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Humans
  • Observer Variation
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Videotape Recording*