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01.12.2019 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 1/2019

Simulation can offer a sustainable contribution to clinical education in osteopathy

Chiropractic & Manual Therapies > Ausgabe 1/2019
Kylie M. Fitzgerald, Tracy Denning, Brett R. Vaughan, Michael J. Fleischmann, Brian C. Jolly



Clinical education forms a substantial component of health professional education. Increased cohorts in Australian osteopathic education have led to consideration of alternatives to traditional placements to ensure adequate clinical exposure and learning opportunities. Simulated learning offers a new avenue for sustainable clinical education. The aim of the study was to explore whether directed observation of simulated scenarios, as part replacement of clinical hours, could provide an equivalent learning experience as measured by performance in an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).


The year 3 osteopathy cohort were invited to participate in replacement of 50% of their clinical placement hours with online facilitated, video-based simulation exercises (intervention). Competency was assessed by an OSCE at the end of the teaching period. Inferential statistics were used to explore any differences between the control and intervention groups as a post-test control design.


The funding model allowed ten learners to participate in the intervention, with sixty-six in the control group. Only one OSCE item was significantly different between groups, that being technique selection (p = 0.038, d = 0.72) in favour of the intervention group, although this may be a type 1 error. Grade point average was moderately positively correlated with the manual therapy technique station total score (r = 0.35, p < 0.01) and a trivial relationship with the treatment reasoning station total score (r = 0.17, p = 0.132).


The current study provides support for further investigation into part replacement of clinical placements with directed observation of simulated scenarios in osteopathy.
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