New Web Portal to International Evidence-Based Practice Resources (5-14-07)
A new online gateway to international evidence-based practice resources is now available online, and members may easily access it through the American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA's) EBP Resource Directory at www.aota.org. Click on Selected EBP Resources, then OT-Specific Resources. A Web portal serves as an online "open gate" for users to enter and then link to content about a specific topic or area of interest; in this case, a set of international resources to support the evidence-based practice of occupational therapy.
This new portal was developed by two academic champions of evidence-based practice in occupational therapy: Mary Law, PhD, associate dean and professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada; and Sally Bennett, PhD, project manager of OTseeker at the University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia.
The Web portal is one of the major outcomes of the July 2004 International Conference on Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy, sponsored by AOTA and the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTAF), and funded by the Agency on Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ). Participants hailed from a diverse set of nations: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, South Africa, and the United States. During the conference participants reached a strong consensus that the need to develop global access to occupational therapy–related scientific evidence and evidence-based occupational therapy resources was a priority, and that the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Web site would be a logical host. The web portal can also be accessed at the WFOT Web site (www.wfot.org).
The Web portal links readers to selected databases, self-study tools for searching and appraising the literature, bibliographic information and articles about teaching evidence-based practice to occupational therapy students and practitioners, and about using evidence in day-to-day practice. Of particular interest is the innovative feature EBP Success Stories (found in the Implement section).
Using an interview format, the story highlights the perspective of a hospital-based manager of occupational therapy services and reveals how she led her team to use treatment effectiveness evidence in their daily clinical practice. The American audience will be fascinated by the process of culture change that took place over a 3-year period—from an environment of business as usual to an environment that values and supports evidence-based practice with a cadre of evidence-based occupational therapists. Working in small groups, clinicians learned to produce reviews inspired by real time focused questions. Key to this success story were: (1) the manager's dedication and clearly articulated expectations for evidence-based practice; and (2) the fact that clinicians were given dedicated work time to participate in a series of training sessions, followed by 1 hour each week and an afternoon per month to work on evidence-based practice projects.
The Web portal is a major contribution to the online infrastructure that encourages EBP occupational therapy on a global level. Inspired by the vision of the late John Eisenberg, a former director of the AHRQ, to "think globally and act locally" when it comes to health care (a slogan initially coined by members of the international environmental movement), the Web portal serves as one of the most useful online entry points for occupational therapists around the world to use as they move toward an evidence-based practice of occupational therapy that make sense in their local communities. It is a spectacular addition to AOTA's EBP Resource Directory—your one-stop shop for easy access to EBP resources and information, both national and international.
Jessica Scheer, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and research professor at the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University in Washington, DC. She has served as a consultant with AOTA's EBP Project since 1998.
Scheer, J. (2007). New web portal to international evidence-based practice resources [Electronic version]. OT Practice, 8(12), 26.
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