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January 28, 2020 - Research

Published: Evaluation of Longitudinal Assessment for use in Maintenance of Certification

Summary by Lawrence Robinson, MD

This study evaluated a longitudinal assessment process for PM&R (LA-PM&R) as a replacement for the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Examination.

In this quality improvement study, randomly selected ABPMR diplomates were invited to participate in LA-PM&R. Participants’ MOC Examination scaled scores were compared to LA-PM&R nonparticipants. We examined the association between LA-PM&R scores and MOC Examination scaled scores, as well as participants’ performance on clone items that were placed on both assessments.

In our study, there were 2,222 ABPMR diplomates eligible to take the MOC Examination in February 2018 through February 2019. Invitations were sent to 1,050 randomly selected diplomates, of whom 448 initially agreed. Of these, 318 individuals completed at least two quarters of LA-PM&R participation and also took the MOC Examination. We compared results to 266 diplomates who took the MOC Examination in the same time period but did not participate in LA-PM&R.

In the analysis, the LA-PM&R group scored higher on the MOC Examination than the control group (P < .05). Performance on the two assessments were highly correlated, r = .50, P < .0001. On clone items, LA-PM&R participants had 74% correct when they first saw the items on LA-PM&R but had 86% correct when they saw similar items on the MOC Examination (P < .01), showing a significant improvement.

We concluded that participation in LA-PM&R leads to better learning and retention of information than the 10-year MOC Examination. It’s also correlated with the standard MOC 10-year examination. These results provide evidence to support the ABPMR transition from the 10-year multiple choice exam to LA-PM&R.

Click on the link below to read the abstract or download the full article.

Evaluation of Longitudinal Assessment for use in Maintenance of Certification

Robinson LR, Raddatz MM, Kinney CL. Evaluation of Longitudinal Assessment for use in Maintenance of Certification. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 2019. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001359