Preparing entry-level practitioners for evidence-based practice

Michelle Villeneuve, Suzanne Maranda

Abstract


The authors report on a collaborative instructional method used to prepare entry-level practitioners with strategies for systematically employing an evidence-based practice process as an approach to clinical inquiry, while acknowledging the students' shortage of clinical experience and knowledge of critical appraisal. Challenges to evidence-based practice can be categorized as difficulties in obtaining evidence, analyzing evidence, and transferring evidence into practice decisions. For student occupational therapists, additional challenges are encountered as they seek to fill gaps in their knowledge about client-centred occupational therapy (OT) practice, acquire necessary background information regarding clinical conditions, and formulate a clinical question. Students need to develop literature search skills and learn effective strategies to locate appropriate information to answer the clinical question. This paper will encourage OT faculty to begin a dialogue with librarian colleagues at their institution to develop an evidence-based approach to the teaching of both the clinical inquiry and the literature search process.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5596/c05-009

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