Research Article  |   November 2015
Impact of a Curricular Change on Perceived Knowledge, Skills, and Use of Evidence in Occupational Therapy Practice: A Cohort Study
Author Affiliations
  • Teal W. Benevides, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA; teal.benevides@jefferson.edu
  • Tracey Vause-Earland, MS, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Robert Walsh, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist Resident, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD. At the time of the study, he was a Teaching Associate, Department of Occupational Therapy, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Education of OTs and OTAs
Research Article   |   November 2015
Impact of a Curricular Change on Perceived Knowledge, Skills, and Use of Evidence in Occupational Therapy Practice: A Cohort Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 2015, Vol. 69, 6912185010p1-6912185010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.018416
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 2015, Vol. 69, 6912185010p1-6912185010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.018416
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We evaluated the impact of a curriculum revision that emphasized experiential use of evidence in clinical environments on occupational therapy graduates’ attitudes, perceived knowledge and skill, and use of evidence in practice.

METHODS. We used a retrospective cohort design to compare two curriculum cohorts of recent graduates exposed to different evidence-based practice (EBP) educational approaches. Responses on a validated survey of attitudes, knowledge/skill, and use of evidence in practice were compared using t tests and Mann–Whitney U tests for Cohort 1 (n = 63) and Cohort 2 (n = 62) graduates.

RESULTS. Findings suggest similar attitudes and use of evidence between cohorts; Cohort 2 reported statistically greater perceived knowledge of and skill in EBP.

CONCLUSIONS. Emphasis on experiential learning in school with reinforcement of skills in clinical learning environments is not sufficient to change graduates’ use of evidence. Although the curriculum revision improved perceived knowledge/skill, our study suggests systems or other factors may influence use after graduation.