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Development and Validation of a Script Concordance Test (SCT) to Evaluate Ethical Reasoning Ability Among First and Fifth Year Students in a Medical School

Abstract

A script concordance test (SCT) was developed as an innovative tool for assessing ethical reasoning ability. An SCT of 12 medical ethical vignettes were constructed from the UNESCO Casebook on Human Dignity and Human Rights. The vignettes were reviewed by a panel of 15 medical experts before administration to a panel of 18 clinicians. The clinician’s answers were used to constitute the scoring key. The SCT was then administered to first and final year medical students. Data were analysed using SPSS. Internal consistency was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha. SCT performance was tested for association with sex, year of study and race by comparing the mean SCT scores between categories within each variable. Internal consistency as measured by Cronbach’s alpha values, ranging from 0.597 to 0.902, indicated high intra-vignette reliability for 10 of the vignettes. Inter-vignette reliability was high at 0.797. Mean SCT scores were not significantly different between students of different gender, year of study and ethnicity. However, each vignette was able to distinguish between overall poor and good test performers. The SCT was able to differentiate between students with varying degrees of ethical reasoning ability.

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Funding

This study was funded by International Medical University (grant number IMU279/2013).

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Correspondence to Allan Pau.

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Pau, A., Thangarajoo, S., Samuel, V.P. et al. Development and Validation of a Script Concordance Test (SCT) to Evaluate Ethical Reasoning Ability Among First and Fifth Year Students in a Medical School. J Acad Ethics 17, 193–204 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-019-09327-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-019-09327-3

Keywords

  • Script concordance test
  • Ethical reasoning
  • Medical students