Empowering occupational therapists to become evidence-based work rehabilitation practitioners

Objective: Occupational therapists (OTs) engage in continuing education to integrate best available knowledge and skills into their practice. However, many barriers influence the degree to which they are currently able to integrate research evidence into their clinical decision making process. The specific objectives were to explore the clinical decision-making processes they used, and to describe the empowerment process they developed to become evidence-based practitioners. Participants: Eight OTs, who had attended a four-day workshop on evidence-based work rehabilitation, were recruited to participate to a reflective practice group. Methods: A collaborative research methodology was used. The group was convened for 12 meetings and held during a 15-month period. The data collected was analyzed using the grounded theory method. Results: The results revealed the different decision-making modes used by OTs: defensive, repressed, cautious, autonomous intuitive and autonomous thoughtful. These modes influenced utilization of evidence and determined the stances taken toward practice change. Reflective learning facilitated their utilization of an evidence-based practice model through a three-level empowerment process: deliberateness, client-centeredness and system mindedness. Conclusions: During the course of this study, participants learned to become evidence-based practitioners. This process had an impact on how they viewed their clients, their practice and the work rehabilitation system.

Source: http://iospress.metapress.com/content/e08n1784233x53n5/?p=2455f50e3306486297f2fa2cf7034fc2&pi=1

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