Teal W. Benevides, Tracey Vause-Earland, Robert Walsh; Impact of a Curricular Change on Perceived Knowledge, Skills, and Use of Evidence in Occupational Therapy Practice: A Cohort Study. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(Supplement_2):6912185010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.018416
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© 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association
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.
What is the difference in attitude, perceived knowledge and skill, and reported use of research evidence between occupational therapy graduates of Cohort 2 and graduates of Cohort 1?
Do the Cohort 2 graduates with more experience in searching, interpreting, and applying research evidence report different research skill barriers to engaging in EBP?
Educators should embed experiential learning in the curriculum to enhance student knowledge of the EBP process.
Outside factors after graduation appear to have an impact on the use of evidence in practice, regardless of student use of evidence in clinical learning environments.
Additional inquiry regarding system barriers in practice are warranted, as are intervention studies in the workplace to improve evidence use in practice.
Practitioners have a responsibility to advocate for resources that would improve their ability to use evidence in practice, including request for time to review and critique literature as part of the daily workload or access to databases or sources of literature.
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