Research Article
Issue Date: July/August 2020
Published Online: June 08, 2020
Updated: June 22, 2020
Pilot Use of the Adapted Fresno Test for Evaluating Evidence-Based Practice Knowledge in Occupational Therapy Students
Author Affiliations
  • Karen Atler, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins.
  • Jaclyn Stephens, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins; jaclyn.stephens@colostate.edu
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Education of OTs and OTAs / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 08, 2020
Pilot Use of the Adapted Fresno Test for Evaluating Evidence-Based Practice Knowledge in Occupational Therapy Students
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 2020, Vol. 74, 7404205100. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.037861
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 2020, Vol. 74, 7404205100. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.037861
Abstract

Importance: A core tenet of occupational therapy is that practitioners should use evidence in their practice. Nevertheless, many occupational therapy practitioners feel limited in their evidence-based practice (EBP) knowledge. Conceivably, improving EBP knowledge in students would facilitate their greater knowledge as practitioners. Other researchers have modified teaching methods and content to enhance knowledge in students but did not empirically evaluate the acquisition of knowledge.

Objective: To empirically evaluate EBP knowledge acquisition.

Design: Descriptive, mixed-methods pilot study.

Setting: A graduate occupational therapy program.

Participants: Fifty-one second-year occupational therapy students.

Outcomes and Measures: We used the Adapted Fresno Test of Competence in Evidence-Based Practice to measure evidence-based practice knowledge. We also qualitatively assessed students’ perceptions of what influenced their development of EBP knowledge and how they felt after completing the posttest.

Results: We found significant improvements in EBP knowledge. We also found the following qualitative themes regarding influences on students’ EPB knowledge development: helpful supports, learning activities, and the context of doing with others.

Conclusions and Relevance: We observed significant gains in EBP knowledge, as measured by the Adapted Fresno Test, after occupational therapy students completed an EBP course. We theorize that students’ gains in EBP knowledge will support their ability to successfully use evidence in their future occupational therapy practice.

What This Article Adds: Our findings on the Adapted Fresno Test indicate that our course successfully promoted acquisition of EBP knowledge. We theorize that students’ gains in evidence-based practice knowledge will support their ability to successfully use evidence in their future occupational therapy practice.