Agreement between simulated patients and faculty: Assessment of communication skills during objective structured clinical examination

Assessment of Communication Skills during Objective Structured Clinical Examination

  • Farheen Yousuf Aga Khan University
  • Naveed Yousuf Aga Khan University
Keywords: Communication and counseling skills, Inter-rater reliability, OSCE, Simulated-patients


Objective: Ensuring competence in communication skills amongst trainees is essential in health professions education. Involving faculty members for the same is a challenge in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) due to their clinical commitments. The present study compares scores of OBGYN faculty, non-OBGYN faculty and simulated patients (SPs) on communication skills of postgraduate trainees during formative Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

Methods: This is a psychometric study conducted in Feburary 2017 at the Aga Khan University Medical College (AKU-MC). All thirty-two postgraduate trainees of OBGYN gave consent. Each trainee was assessed by OBGYN faculty, non-OBGYN faculty and SP on communication skills at six stations using nine-point itemized rating-scale during formative OBGYN OSCE. The scores were reviewed using descriptive statistics, reliability was calculated using Cronbach’s alpha and inter-rater reliability was analyzed using Pearson correlation and intra-class correlation coefficient.

Results: The score reliability of each of the examiners was >0.7. The mean scores showed that OBGYN faculty were most stringent while SPs were lenient examiners, however, non-OBGYN faculty scored in between. The inter-rater reliability among any two of the OBGYN, non-OBGYN and SP examiner was >0.84 using Pearson correlation and >0.9 using intra-class correlation.
Conclusion: The SPs and non-OBGYN clinical faculty can also be used to assess communication and counseling skills on OBGYN OSCEs after required training as examiners.


How to cite this:
Yousuf F, Yousuf N. Agreement between simulated patients and faculty: Assessment of communication skills during objective structured clinical examination. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(6):1570-1574. doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Author Biography

Naveed Yousuf, Aga Khan University

Department for Educational Development,

Faculty of Health Sciences, Aga Khan University

Karachi, Pakistan.

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