Evidence-Based Practice Research Group

Members: Mary Law, Debra Stewart, Nancy Pollock, Lori Letts, Jackie Bosch, Muriel Westmorland, Angela Philpot

Best practice in occupational therapy occurs when therapists, working in partnership with client(s), use research evidence along with clinical knowledge and reasoning to implement interventions that are effective. The McMaster Occupational Therapy Evidence-based Practice group focuses on research to critically review evidence regarding the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions and to develop tools for evaluation of occupational therapy programmes.

To date, our group has completed several initiatives, including:

  • Development, evaluate and publication of a Programme Evaluation Workbook, to guide therapists (and rehabilitation teams) in evaluating the effects of their programmes. A Programme Evaluation Workbook for Occupational Therapists: An Evidence-Based Practice Tool is available from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (http://www.caot.ca/).

  • Development and testing of protocols to critically review quantitative and qualitative research articles. Guidelines were written to accompany the review forms. Testing of the final forms and guidelines achieved agreement of 75 and 86% between two researchers. Copies of these forms and guidelines are attached. To view and print these files requires Acrobat Reader, which can be obtained here.

  • Completion of systematic reviews of the research evidence in two interventions used by occupational therapists - the effect of activity-based interventions for older persons with dementia and the effect of cognitive-behavioural interventions for persons with chronic pain. The full critical reviews are attached.
Our thanks to the Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation for their vision in developing their ‘Outcomes That Matter' project, and for providing funding for this research.

Thank you to Mariela Nabergoi (OT, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina) for providing the Spanish versions of the review forms and guidelines, to Heidrun Becker (Georg Thieme Verlag, Berlin, Germany) for providing the German versions, to Marisa Mancini (OT Professor, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil) for providing the Portuguese versions, and to Dr. Craig Scanlan (University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ) for providing an adapted Word version of the English quantitative review form.
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