Elaf Farahat


Objective: Explore nutrition and dietetic students’ perception of the educational value of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) and to examine the change in their perceived readiness to practice after completing three OSCEs.

Participants: Students from the Schools of Public Health (SPH) and Allied Health Professions (SAHP) enrolled in Medical Nutrition Therapy course, mean age 26.6±5.4 years, 95% females (n=37).

Methods: Mixed-method sequential exploratory design. Three focus group discussions (11 participants) were conducted as part of the qualitative phase to elicit themes related to perception of OSCE as an education tool. In the quantitative phase, a pre-post test design was used to explore the change in students’ perceived readiness after completing 3 OSCEs that included reading related article, watching a video, reviewing patient’s chart, counseling a standardized patient, charting, and discussing findings with other healthcare professionals and finally self reflecting. Students answered Perceived Readiness for Dietetic Practice (PRDP) questionnaire before and after OSCE completion.

Statistical Analysis: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyze qualitative data. The PRDP score changes over time were examined using Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test. A Mixed Factorial Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) examined changes in PRDP subscale scores between SAHP and SPH students over time.

Results: Both qualitative and quantitative strands showed high levels of acceptability of OSCE and improved readiness to clinical placement. Most of the students (76%) students found OSCE to be superior to medical center experience and 78% agreed that collaboration with other health care professionals helped prepare them for the dietetic role. Five major themes emerged from the data to describe the student’s perceptions of the OSCE include bridge to clinical practice, a comprehensive learning tool, realistic experience, student challenges and curriculum considerations. OSCE significantly improved students’ mean readiness to practice their role as clinical dietitians (4.9±2.5 vs. 5.8±1.9, p= 0.03). There was a significant improvement in the professional role p=0.04 and charting p=0.01. Students improved in all the areas, however, not all areas reached statistical significance.

Conclusion: The OSCE experience improved student’s perceived clinical skills. It can provide a realistic and holistic patient experience for dietetic students to develop their patient evaluation and counseling skills.

LLU Discipline

Rehabilitation Sciences


Allied Health Studies


School of Allied Health Professions

First Advisor

Rice, Gail

Second Advisor

Connell, Bert

Third Advisor

Daher, Noha S.

Fourth Advisor

Heine, Nancy

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Nutrition -- Study and teaching (Higher)

Subject - Local

Dietetics -- education; Health Occupations -- education; Educational Measurement -- methods; Medical Nutrition Therapy; Perceived Readiness for Dietetic Practice; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives