Measuring Clinical Reasoning in Senior Dental Hygiene Students Through the Use of s-OSCEs

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Measuring Clinical Reasoning in Senior Dental Hygiene Students Through the Use of s-OSCEs

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Purpose/Objective: Dental hygiene students must be learning, using, and understanding clinical reasoning to complete the dental hygiene process of care during any clinical encounter. It is expected that students’ clinical reasoning skills will progress as they advance through the curriculum. The study findings will provide data to show whether clinical reasoning progresses throughout the curriculum. Methods: This study employed a cohort/repeated measures design to measure change in baccalaureate dental hygiene students' clinical reasoning skills with regard to the dental hygiene process of care over the course of one year (n=26). A practice case was given to students one week prior to testing. Students were tested three times over their senior year in the fall semester, spring semester, and summer semester. Analyses included descriptive statistics and a repeated measures ANOVA model test. Results: All criterions measured on the s-OSCE rubric showed improvement from the fall to spring semester, but scores declined from the spring to summer semester. However, scores were higher in summer than fall. The assessment criterion was the only area students had a statistically significant positive increase in clinical reasoning scores. The evaluation criterion showed student scores improving over the course of the year. However, those results were not statistically significant. Conclusion: Clinical reasoning progression was not found as measured by the s-OSCE. The results found in this study were consistent with the research findings that students have not shown clinical reasoning progression over a specific time period chosen by the investigators.


University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. August 2019. Major: Dentistry. Advisor: Cynthia Stull. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 71 pages.

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Borowicz, Shannon. (2019). Measuring Clinical Reasoning in Senior Dental Hygiene Students Through the Use of s-OSCEs. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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