How and why do occupational therapists use the OTseeker evidence database?

Annie Mccluskey, Meryl Lovarini, Sally Bennett, Kryss Mckenna, Leigh Tooth, Tammy Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: OTseeker is a free online bibliographic database containing systematic reviews and methodological ratings of randomised controlled trials relevant to occupational therapy. The database aims to help therapists efficiently identify high quality pre-appraised research. Aim: This study explored the search practices of therapists who regularly used OTseeker, what they did with the information retrieved and their perceptions of the database. Sample: A purposive sample of 11 occupational therapists was recruited in 2004. All had visited OTseeker at least five times in the previous 12 months. Study design: Qualitative. Methods: A semistructured interview was conducted with each participant. Grounded theory methods were used for analysis. Findings: Five distinct categories were identified: reasons for visiting OTseeker, learning about OTseeker, search times and locations, using information from OTseeker, and improving OTseeker. Therapists used the database to teach or model evidence-based practice, answer clinical questions and keep up-to-date. Suggestions for improvement focussed on search functionality, access to abstracts and the location of the PEDro rating scale. Only two participants synthesised information from OTseeker into a summary, and/or used it to inform client reports. Conclusion: This study suggests that OTseeker is helping to increase research utilisation by occupational therapists. Further research is needed to help therapists apply research evidence to change practice and policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006
Externally publishedYes


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