Self-assessment is a process that allows the determination of one’s own level of skill in specific areas. It has been developed by researchers in the late 20th century. Self-assessment has been implemented for clinical evaluations at IdHEO Nantes’ Osteopathic clinic in January of 2013. To assess the quality of the students’ self-assessments, we measured the correlation between self-assessed and externally assessed clinical consultations.
The study focused on the assessment of 5th year students who had never repeated a clinical year. They were assessed by osteopath teachers who had graduated more than 5 years ago. The assessment scale was composed of 28 criteria divided into 4 skills. Each criteria was rated on a 3-point scale. To compare the two assessments, we calculated Spearman linear correlation coefficients for the global scores and for each skill. A threshold of 5% was chosen for statistical significance.
Among the 61 eligible 5th year students, only 27 could be included in the analysis for the first assessment and 21 for the second one due to missing data. The linear correlation coefficient for both assessments were not statistically significant: r = 0.29 (p=0.14) and r = -0.11 (p=0.61) respectively. For each skill the coefficients ranged from 0.12 to 0.28 for the first assessment and from -0.33 to 0.41 for the second one.
This study failed to show a linear correlation between the students’ self-assessment and the external assessments. This is possibly due to a lack of data, but a post-study survey also suggested that students and teachers could have a different interpretation of several criteria. This highlights the need to clarify to the students the different clinical skills and the teacher’s expectations. This would also improve the reliability of the assessment scale as a self-assessment tool.
Benjamin Marius is a French osteopathic undergraduate student. He began physiotherapic studies, but after the government regulation of the osteopathic profession, he switched to a full-time osteopathic curriculum at IdHEO Nantes. To validate his final year dissertation, he evaluated the self-assessment capacities of osteopathic students in a clinical setting. Following his graduation, he plans to create his own practice near Royan (Charente Maritime) and help future works of IdHEO Nantes on the subject of clinical assessments.