Can the results of the OSCE predict the results of clinical assessment in dental education?

R. Näpänkangas, Terhi Karaharju-Suvanto, Eeva Pyörälä, V. Harila, P. Ollila, R. Lähdesmäki, S. Lahti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review



The aims of this study were to evaluate the correlation between the results of the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) and clinical assessment and to test the reliability of OSCE test stations.


All 4th year undergraduate dental students (n = 47, 100%) attended the OSCE in April 2010. The students were divided into two groups (morning group, group 1; afternoon group, group 2). Groups 1 and 2 were also divided into two subgroups that attended the stations in two concurrent sessions (A and B). The OSCE included 12 10-min test stations. Clinical assessment was based on long-term observation during the semesters. The disciplines assessed were cross-infection control, endodontics, paediatric dentistry, periodontology, prosthodontics and restorative dentistry.


Statistical analysis using Cronbach's alpha indicated good reliability of the OSCE. The correlation between the results of the OSCE and clinical assessment in the 4th year was statistically significant in cross-infection control (ρ = 0.340, P = 0.022), endodontics (ρ = 0.298, P = 0.047), prosthodontics (ρ = 0.296, P = 0.048) and restorative dentistry (ρ = 0.376, P = 0.011). Clinical assessment in the 5th year correlated with the OSCE results statistically significant in restorative dentistry (ρ = 0.522, P = 0.001).


Both the OSCE and constant longitudinal assessment are needed in clinical assessment, as they both play an important role in the overall assessment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
  • dental education
  • assessment
  • undergraduate students
  • OSCE

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