Introduction: Online databases can support the implementation of evidence-based practice by providing easy access to research. OTseeker (www.otseeker.com), an electronic evidence database, was introduced in 2003 to assist occupational therapists to locate and interpret research.
Objectives: This study explored Australian occupational therapists' use and perceptions of OTseeker and its impact on their knowledge and practice.
Methods: A postal survey questionnaire was distributed to two samples: (i) a proportionate random sample of 400 occupational therapists from all states and territories of Australia, and (ii) a random sample of occupational therapists working in 95 facilities in two Australian states (Queensland and New South Wales).
Results: The questionnaire was completed by 213 participants. While most participants (85.9%) had heard of OTseeker, only 103 (56.6%) had accessed it, with lack of time being the main reason for non-use. Of the 103 participants who had accessed OTseeker, 68.9% had done so infrequently, 63.1% agreed that it had increased their knowledge and 13.6% had changed their practice after accessing information on OTseeker.
Conclusion: Despite OTseeker being developed to provide occupational therapists with easy access to research, lack of time was the main reason why over half of the participants in this study had not accessed it. This exploratory research suggests, however, that there is potential for the database to influence occupational therapists' knowledge and practice about treatment efficacy through access to the research literature.