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Issue Date: July 01, 2015
Published Online: February 09, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2020
An Intervention to Promote the Adoption of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Behaviors
Author Affiliations
  • Midwestern University
  • Midwestern University
  • Midwestern University
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Health Services Research and Education
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
An Intervention to Promote the Adoption of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Behaviors
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911510144. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO5087
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911510144. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO5087
Abstract

Date Presented 4/17/2015

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a 17-mo, evidence-based practice (EBP) professional development initiative that was developed through collaboration between key stakeholders from a special education cooperative in northern Illinois and university faculty from a nearby occupational therapy program.

SIGNIFICANCE: Evidence-based practice (EBP) has moved from an emerging trend to an accepted framework for demonstrating the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions and improving client outcomes. Although most occupational therapy practitioners agree that EBP leads to better clinical decisions than opinion-based practice, the use of research evidence by occupational therapy practitioners remains limited. Occupational therapy practitioners are often hesitant to learn the knowledge and skills that are necessary to integrate evidence into practice, possibly due to the anxiety associated with occupational therapy practitioners’ lack of experience engaging in research-related activities during and after their preparation programs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a 17-mo, EBP professional development initiative that was developed through collaboration between key stakeholders from a special education cooperative in northern Illinois and university faculty from a nearby occupational therapy program.
APPROACH: Little is known about the effectiveness of different professional development activities in increasing EBP knowledge, skills, and behaviors. Therefore, we attempted to answer the following research question: Is an intensive professional development package effective in increasing occupational therapy practitioners’ EBP knowledge, skills, and behaviors?
METHOD: We used a single-group, pretest–posttest research design. The setting took place at a special education cooperative in northern Illinois. Occupational therapy practitioners employed by the special education cooperative during the 2012–2013 and 2013–2014 academic years were required to partake in the professional development EBP initiative. Participation was voluntary. Measures included the Adapted Fresno Test (AFT) and a brief survey before and after the initiative. The pretest–posttest measures were administered on Survey Monkey. The AFT has been found to be a valid and reliable measure. An eight-item survey was also conducted 2.50 mo after the end of initiative.
The pretest–posttest AFT responses were scored using a validated rubric. AFT raw scores were analyzed with SPSS Version 19.0, and a matched-pairs t test was performed with a significance level set at .05 (matched pairs = practitioners who completed both the pretest and posttest). Differences in mean scores were calculated by hand. Descriptive statistics were performed for items on survey and follow-up.
RESULTS: AFT posttest scores (M = 74.66, SD = 33.99, n = 29) were higher than the AFT pretest scores (M = 42.51, SD = 30.91, n = 45). The matched-pairs t test (n = 29) showed a significant difference in the scores for the pretest (M = 43.9, SD = 32.67) and the posttest (M = 74.66, SD = 33.99), t(28) = −5.645, p < .001. Of the participants, 31% reported that they had made a formal professional development goal related to EBP, 23% applied to an advanced degree program, 77% regularly searched the literature, 69% used electronic databases, and 71% collaborated with school personnel in a more sophisticated manner.
CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that a series of professional development activities embedded in a supportive organizational culture can positively influence practitioners’ perceptions and their EBP knowledge, skills, and behaviors.