An exploration of occupational therapists' views and experiences of using evidence-based practice to develop professional knowledge in a local authority setting

Debbie Ryan, Channine Clarke

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Abstract

Introduction: Occupational therapists are expected to engage in evidence-based practice and to be aware of the importance of research as the foundation of the profession's evidence base. This appears to be the first study that has explored local authority occupational therapists' views and experiences of evidence-based practice and how they use it to develop professional knowledge. Method: A focus group data collection method was employed. Two focus groups, comprising seven occupational therapists each were conducted. Occupational therapists who participated in the study had been working in the local authority setting from between six months to thirty years. Findings: Occupational therapists did not draw on research evidence to build their knowledge. Therapists valued the evidence of the lived experience of clients, their own and other's knowledge and experience, including the perceived evidence-based knowledge of health colleagues. Therapists developed their knowledge using these sources of evidence, through reflection and participation in wide communities of practice. Therapists looked to others to lead on developing evidence-based practice in the local setting. Conclusion: Occupational therapists did not use an evidence-based practice approach to develop professional knowledge. Peer learning and role modelling strategies may enable occupational therapists to become more evidence-based in order to enhance their practice and meet professional standards.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBrighton Journal of Research in Health Sciences
Volume3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017

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occupational therapist
knowledge
evidence
experience
therapist
data collection method
Group
profession

Bibliographical note

© 2017 Brighton Journal of Research in Health Sciences

Cite this

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title = "An exploration of occupational therapists' views and experiences of using evidence-based practice to develop professional knowledge in a local authority setting",
abstract = "Introduction: Occupational therapists are expected to engage in evidence-based practice and to be aware of the importance of research as the foundation of the profession's evidence base. This appears to be the first study that has explored local authority occupational therapists' views and experiences of evidence-based practice and how they use it to develop professional knowledge. Method: A focus group data collection method was employed. Two focus groups, comprising seven occupational therapists each were conducted. Occupational therapists who participated in the study had been working in the local authority setting from between six months to thirty years. Findings: Occupational therapists did not draw on research evidence to build their knowledge. Therapists valued the evidence of the lived experience of clients, their own and other's knowledge and experience, including the perceived evidence-based knowledge of health colleagues. Therapists developed their knowledge using these sources of evidence, through reflection and participation in wide communities of practice. Therapists looked to others to lead on developing evidence-based practice in the local setting. Conclusion: Occupational therapists did not use an evidence-based practice approach to develop professional knowledge. Peer learning and role modelling strategies may enable occupational therapists to become more evidence-based in order to enhance their practice and meet professional standards.",
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N2 - Introduction: Occupational therapists are expected to engage in evidence-based practice and to be aware of the importance of research as the foundation of the profession's evidence base. This appears to be the first study that has explored local authority occupational therapists' views and experiences of evidence-based practice and how they use it to develop professional knowledge. Method: A focus group data collection method was employed. Two focus groups, comprising seven occupational therapists each were conducted. Occupational therapists who participated in the study had been working in the local authority setting from between six months to thirty years. Findings: Occupational therapists did not draw on research evidence to build their knowledge. Therapists valued the evidence of the lived experience of clients, their own and other's knowledge and experience, including the perceived evidence-based knowledge of health colleagues. Therapists developed their knowledge using these sources of evidence, through reflection and participation in wide communities of practice. Therapists looked to others to lead on developing evidence-based practice in the local setting. Conclusion: Occupational therapists did not use an evidence-based practice approach to develop professional knowledge. Peer learning and role modelling strategies may enable occupational therapists to become more evidence-based in order to enhance their practice and meet professional standards.

AB - Introduction: Occupational therapists are expected to engage in evidence-based practice and to be aware of the importance of research as the foundation of the profession's evidence base. This appears to be the first study that has explored local authority occupational therapists' views and experiences of evidence-based practice and how they use it to develop professional knowledge. Method: A focus group data collection method was employed. Two focus groups, comprising seven occupational therapists each were conducted. Occupational therapists who participated in the study had been working in the local authority setting from between six months to thirty years. Findings: Occupational therapists did not draw on research evidence to build their knowledge. Therapists valued the evidence of the lived experience of clients, their own and other's knowledge and experience, including the perceived evidence-based knowledge of health colleagues. Therapists developed their knowledge using these sources of evidence, through reflection and participation in wide communities of practice. Therapists looked to others to lead on developing evidence-based practice in the local setting. Conclusion: Occupational therapists did not use an evidence-based practice approach to develop professional knowledge. Peer learning and role modelling strategies may enable occupational therapists to become more evidence-based in order to enhance their practice and meet professional standards.

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