Script Concordance Test: A novel computer based tool to assess clinical reasoning in osteopathy / Symposium C, Workshop 8

Background: Osteopathic pre-registration education aims to produce competent autonomous practitioners who are capable of dealing with and mastering the uncertainty of clinical practice. The students’ preparedness for clinical practice is typically assessed using high fidelity long case exams, i.e., clinical competence assessments using real patients in a real clinical setting. The Script Concordance Test (SCT) is a reliable and valid computer based tool for assessment of clinical reasoning in the context of uncertainty, which is being increasingly used as an assessment strategy in medicine, and recently implemented in osteopathic education in the UK.
Intended outcomes: Our aims are to enable participants to: (1) discover the SCT; (2) discuss practical issues, underpinning theory and supporting research evidence; (3) critically evaluate its appropriateness as a tool to assess osteopathy students’ diagnostic reasoning, evaluation of risk and patient safety, and ethical aspects of osteopathic care; (4) practise item writing and scoring.
Structure: Participants will engage in an interactive workshop in which presenters will initially introduce the SCT principles and evidence, with examples from both osteopathy and medicine used to illustrate how the test assesses clinical reasoning. This will lead into discussion on practical issues related to item writing, scoring and panel composition and on its appropriateness as an assessment strategy in osteopathic education. Attendees will practise item writing and scoring. The interactive nature of this workshop will enable participants to develop a critical understanding of the test and therefore reflect on its value as a vehicle to assess the students’ preparedness for autonomous osteopathic clinical practice.


Jorge Esteves qualified as an osteopath in 1993 and has since worked as a clinician and academic. Currently Head of Research at the British School of Osteopathy, Jorge was formerly Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Osteopathy at Oxford Brookes University, from where he received his PhD. Jorge has extensive experience in curriculum development, planning, implementation, evaluation and quality assurance at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the fields of osteopathy, research and higher professional education.

Marianne Bennison graduated from the British College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) in 1989. She is a Senior Lecturer in Osteopathy and Practice Education Lead Osteopathy at Oxford Brookes University.

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