Examining the educational impact of the mini-CEX: a randomised controlled study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMC Medical Education. 2021, 21 . 10.1186/s12909-021-02670-3
Background: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (mini-CEX) as a formative assessment tool among undergraduate medical students, in terms of student perceptions, effects on direct observation and feedback, and educational impact. Methods: Cluster randomised study of 38 fifth-year medical students during a 16-week clinical placement. Hospitals were randomised to provide a minimum of 8 mini-CEXs per student (intervention arm) or continue with ad-hoc feedback (control arm). After finishing their clinical placement, students completed an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), a written test and a survey. Results: All participants in the intervention group completed the pre-planned number of assessments, and 60% found them to be useful during their clinical placement. Overall, there were no statistically significant differences between groups in reported quantity or quality of direct observation and feedback. Observed mean scores were marginally higher on the OSCE and written test in the intervention group, but not statistically significant. Conclusions: There is considerable potential in assessing medical students during clinical placements and routine practice, but the educational impact of formative assessments remains mostly unknown. This study contributes with a robust study design, and may serve as a basis for future research.