Evidence based practice and knowledge translation: A survey of Australian occupational therapy practice with clients experiencing neurocognitive impairments

Melissa T. Nott, Hannah L.H. Barden, Chris Chapparo, Judy L. Ranka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The clinical practice patterns and use of research evidence by Australian occupational therapists working with clients experiencing neurocognitive impairments has not been surveyed for nearly 10 years. This survey aimed to evaluate the current status of occupational therapy practice and evidence use and provide recommendations for ongoing evidence translation. Methods: An online survey of occupational therapists working in Australia was conducted over four months targeting registered clinicians working with adults experiencing neurocognitive impairments. Results: 191 occupational therapists from a wide range of clinical practice areas, with a significant level of experience completed the survey. Functional retraining (n = 180, 94%), compensatory training (n = 173, 91%) and task/environmental modifications (n = 161, 84%) were the most commonly reported intervention techniques, while more targeted interventions such as context-sensitive training (n = 54, 28%), positive behaviour supports (n = 42, 22%) and metacognitive strategy training (n = 37, 19%) were used less frequently. Half the respondents were aware of current research evidence and suggested a wide range of strategies supporting evidence translation. Traditional barriers of limited time, access and skills to interpret research were also reported. Conclusion: Consistent with earlier surveys most occupational therapists continue to use a functional/compensatory approach to cognitive rehabilitation, with an increasing number of therapists using specialist cognitive interventions. The current challenge for occupational therapists is embedding specialist techniques into occupation-based intervention. Knowledge translation and implementation strategies will be a critical component to achieving this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-82
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Volume67
Early online date24 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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