Objectives: To evaluate the development, validity and reliability of a multimodality objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) in undergraduate psychiatry, integrating interactive face-to-face and telephone history taking and communication skills stations, videotape mental state examinations and problem-oriented written stations.
Methods: The development of the OSCE on a restricted budget is described. This study evaluates the validity and reliability of 4 15-18-station OSCEs for 128 students over 1 year. Face and content validity were assessed by a panel of clinicians and from feedback from OSCE participants. Correlations with consultant clinical 'firm grades' were performed. Interrater reliability and internal consistency (interstation reliability) were assessed using generalisability theory.
Results: The OSCE was feasible to conduct and had a high level of high perceived face and content validity. Consultant firm grades correlated moderately with scores on interactive stations and poorly with written and video stations. Overall reliability was moderate to good, with G-coefficients in the range 0.55-0.68 for the 4 OSCEs.
Conclusions: Integrating a range of modalities into an OSCE in psychiatry appears to represent a feasible, generally valid and reliable method of examination on a restricted budget. Different types of stations appear to have different advantages and disadvantages, supporting the integration of both interactive and written components into the OSCE format.