Perceptions of evidence-based practice: A survey of Australian occupational therapists

Sally Bennett*, Leigh Tooth, Kryss McKenna, Sylvia Rodger, Jenny Strong, Jenny Ziviani, Sharon Mickan, Libby Gibson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

193 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)


Evidence-based practice (EBP) requires clinicians to access, appraise and integrate research literature with clinical experience and clients' perspectives. Currently, little is known about occupational therapists' attitudes to EBP, their perception of implementation barriers or their educational needs. A questionnaire reflecting these issues was sent to a proportionate random sample of 1491 members of the national professional occupational therapy association, OT AUSTRALIA. The questionnaire was completed by 649 (44%) participants. Occupational therapists were positive about EBP with most (96%) agreeing that EBP is important to occupational therapy. Although 56% used research to make clinical decisions, more relied on clinical experience (96%), information from continuing education (82%) and colleagues (80%). Lack of time, evidence and skills were identified as the main barriers to the implementation of EBP. Over half (52%) expressed strong interest in EBP skills training, and most (80%) indicated an interest in the availability of brief summaries of evidence. Targeted educational initiatives, resources and systems are needed to support EBP in occupational therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


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