Incorporating evidence-based practice (EBP) into the classroom is essential to help students understand the value of EBP and to prepare them to apply EBP as fieldwork students and new practitioners. AOTA has various EBP resources that can be seamlessly incorporated into curricula to provide students with a strong, comprehensive background of EBP in many practice areas.
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Based on findings of systematic reviews, the topic-specific, comprehensive Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines define the domain and process of occupational therapy services. Updated every 5 years with the latest evidence findings, the guidelines present best practices and summaries of evidence for intervention for a variety of practice areas. With case studies, selected assessments, and recommendations for interventions, the guidelines can support the design of evidence-based curricula and thus create authentic learning experiences in the classroom. The guidelines are also helpful to students who are developing literature reviews as well as planning and implementing research projects.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT) Special Issues
Special issues of AJOT include scholarly systematic reviews summarizing the evidence within the scope of occupational therapy practice and based on a focused question. Students can use the articles when conducting literature review or learning about evidence-based findings to gain a comprehensive review of the topic, including information on background research, methodology, and implications for practice. Special Issues are organized by these practice areas:
Critically Appraised Topics (CATs)
CATs provide an "at-a-glance" synthesis of a group of articles selected and critically appraised for focused-question systematic reviews. CATs include a summary of key findings and the bottom line for occupational therapy practice. These resources provide students with a brief, easily digestible, and comprehensive review of the evidence for a specific condition or practice area. CATs are organized by these practice areas:
AOTA’s Evidence Exchange is a central repository for Critically Appraised Papers (CAPs), at-a-glance summaries of the findings and methods of individual articles. Students are encouraged to collaborate with faculty to submit a CAP, which will undergo a review process and, if accepted, are posted on the AOTA website. The Evidence Exchange also features a CAP Submission Toolkit, worksheet, and guidelines as well as the PowerPoint “Research Statistics 101 for EBP” that can be used in the classroom. Participation in the Evidence Exchange can help students better understand how to critically appraise a peer-reviewed article. Faculty members are also encouraged to participate in the Evidence Exchange as CAP Reviewers.
The Research Opportunities Tables provide an overview of the current evidence on interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice. These tables can be used to minimize duplication of research efforts and help students choose a research topic in areas that are important to the field.
The Journal Club Toolkit offers documents and resources for planning and implementing a journal club. Sample fliers, worksheets, references, critical appraisal guides, a statistical reference sheet, and continuing education documentation are provided to reduce the preparation time needed for a journal club session. Students can use the toolkit to start a journal club in the classroom, with Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) groups, or at a fieldwork site.
The Evidence-Based Resource Directory is an online tool that links users to Internet sites related to the evidence-based practice of occupational therapy. The Directory includes EBP resources in a variety of practice areas as well as tutorials for acquiring basic and intermediate-level skills to search and interpret the literature.
The Everyday Evidence Podcast Series features discussions with experts on the implications of evidence on everyday life. The podcasts are a quick, easy way to relate current evidence of interest to students. They can also highlight occupational therapy’s distinct value in specific practice areas to the general public.
For more information about EBP, visit the EBP and Research section of AOTA’s website. If you have any questions related to using EBP resources in the classroom, contact email@example.com.
Learn about incorporating EBP into Fieldwork Education.
Learn more about AJOT.