Self-reported Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour towards Evidence-based Practice of Occupational Therapy Students in Ireland

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It is widely accepted that the occupational therapy profession needs to incorporate research findings into clinical practice so as to improve client outcomes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the knowledge and attitudes toward evidence-based practice (EBP) of occupational therapy students in the Republic of Ireland. A validated questionnaire was used to survey the population of final-year students from the four universities in Ireland in 2008. There was a response rate of 77% (n = 86) to the Knowledge, Attitude and Behaviour Questionnaire. All students reported that they had a clear understanding of EBP and were willing to practice EBP in the future. The majority (85%, n = 73) reported accessing evidence weekly or more often. Lack of time and fieldwork educators not practising EBP were important barriers for 31% (n = 27) and 27% (n = 23), respectively. Over half (55%, n = 47) reported difficulty in finding evidence. The internet (28%, n = 24) and textbooks (27%, n = 23) were the most popular sources of evidence. Limitations include the self-report, cross-sectional design. Future research could include longitudinal studies to understand the transfer of learning into clinical practice. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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