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J Pediatr Orthop. 2016 Oct-Nov;36(7):768-72. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000000557.

A Reliable and Valid Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill for the Application of a Pavlik Harness Based on International Expert Consensus.

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Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada.



The use of competency-based training is increasing in medical education as it offers individualized learning opportunities to master required skills. Inherent to this method of teaching is the need for standardized and objective assessments of skill mastery. In orthopaedic surgery, educational programs have focused on surgical skills with lesser emphasis on nonoperative techniques. Accordingly, formal evaluation tools specific to Pavlik Harness application do not exist, despite its widespread use and potential complications from inappropriate application. This study sought to develop a reliable and valid evaluation tool based on international expert consensus to standardize and evaluate Pavlik Harness application for developmental dysplasia of the hip.


Consensus was sought from 10 content experts using Delphi methodology. Resulting items formed the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill (OSATS). Thirty-five participants were selected into 3 a priori groups (expert, intermediate and novice) based on Pavlik Harness experience. On 2 occasions, 3 content experts assessed randomized and deidentified videotapes of each participant applying a Pavlik Harness to an infant model using the OSATS and global rating scales (GRS). The reliability and validity of the OSATS was determined with intraclass (ICC) and Pearson correlations and analysis of variance (ANOVA).


Consensus was obtained after 2 rounds of structured surveying and resulted in a 25-item OSATS. The reliability of the OSATS was excellent with an ICC of 0.96 for interrater and 0.98 for test-retest reliability. Construct validity was excellent with high correlations between OSATS and GRS (>0.90). In addition, the OSATS discriminated between expert, intermediate, and novice users.


We have developed a competency-based evaluation tool for Pavlik Harness application based on consensus from international experts. The OSATS has been shown to be a reliable and valid method for assessing Pavlik Harness application that can discriminate between expert, intermediate, and novice users.


Level II.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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