Aliki Thomas, Mary Law; Research Utilization and Evidence-Based Practice in Occupational Therapy: A Scoping Study. Am J Occup Ther 2013;67(4):e55–e65. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2013.006395
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Many articles have been written on the barriers to and facilitators of the use of evidence in practice in nursing and medicine, but to date no extensive review has been published of the literature on evidence-based practice (EBP) supports in occupational therapy. This article presents the results of a scoping review that examined factors that support the integration of research into practice. A review of 69 articles revealed four themes: (1) attitudes toward, perceptions of, confidence in, and use of research and EBP; (2) factors that support the use of research in practice; (3) effects of interventions targeting changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviors, and evidence-based practices; and (4) identification of the processes involved in the acquisition of EBP skills and their application in clinical practice. A process that integrates client-centered practice, structured reflection, case application, and peer consultations within a scholarship of practice model facilitates occupational therapists’ evaluation and integration of research evidence.
Attitudes toward, perceptions of, confidence in, and use of research and EBP
Factors that support the use of research in practice
Effects of interventions targeting changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviors, and evidence-based practices
Identification of the processes involved in the acquisition of EBP skills and their application in clinical practice.
Clinical experience has an important role in clinicians’ awareness of self and of available sources of evidence and in their ability to incorporate evidence into practice. The exact nature of this experience remains both quantitatively and qualitatively unclear and needs further study.
Involvement in research through action research opportunities designed to meet authentic and situated clinical problems supports RU and EBP. Given clinicians’ busy schedules and limited time for nonclinical tasks, the exact nature of their research involvement needs to be clarified.
Partnerships among students, academics, researchers, and the clinical community within a scholarship of practice model promote the integration of research into clinical practice. Fieldwork experiences, research activities that take place in clinical settings, and clearly defined roles for universities in supporting EBP have the potential to achieve some important outcomes in promoting EBP.
The study of reflection and reflective learning as metacognitive processes involved in the integration of evidence into practice is a new area for occupational therapy researchers and may indicate potentially important enablers of EBP.
A strong trend toward developing and measuring the effects of KT interventions in improving knowledge attitudes and skills has been identified and should continue to be a major focus for EBP researchers in occupational therapy.
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