Using children as standardized patients in OSCE in pediatric occupational therapy

Background: Objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) have been administered in physical and psychiatric occupational therapy (OT) education, but not in pediatric OT education. The objectives were to examine the satisfaction and the influences of OSCE in pediatric OT on all participants.

Methods: The OSCE contained evaluation, intervention, and parent education stations. Sixty examinees, 44 child standardized patients (SPs), 44 chaperones, three playroom managers, 14 OSCE assistants, and 15 examiners participated in the OSCE. An OSCE video and three playrooms were prepared for child SPs.

Results: Ninety percent of the child SPs liked taking part in the OSCE and 75–85% expressed interest in participating in an OSCE the following year. Their parents appreciated the chaperones accompanying their children and giving them a memorable day. 88.3% of the examinees thought that the OSCE was helpful for their upcoming clinical training. 73.3% preferred the OSCE over the written exam. 60–93.4% considered the implementation appropriate. Most of the examiners thought that the content (80–100%) and the implementation (93.3–100%) were appropriate. Many chaperones reported having valuable experiences.

Conclusions: It is practical using child SPs in OSCE in pediatric OT. The OSCE was beneficial to all participants. It is recommended that OSCEs be included in pediatric OT education.