Aim: This study aimed to analyse the quantity and quality of paediatric research evidence contained in the OTseeker database and to compare the findings with surveys of paediatric occupational therapy practice.
Methods: In June 2005, systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials contained in OTseeker were analysed according to year of publication and the client diagnostic groups and interventions addressed. The internal validity scores of the trials were determined (according to the PEDro scale (partitioned)) and the outcome measures used extracted.
Results: Of 3294 papers contained in OTseeker, 372 (11.3%) were related to paediatrics. The mean internal validity score of the trials was 2.5/8. The five most frequently studied diagnostic groups were mental health/psychosocial issues, neurology, learning disabilities, developmental delay and 'other'. There was much variation in the outcome measures used, with a large number of outcome measures used in only one or a few studies. The five most frequently studied interventions were behavioural interventions, consumer education, psychosocial techniques, interventions for carers/parents and developmental therapy.
Conclusion: OTseeker contains a considerable amount of research relevant to paediatric occupational therapy practice. There was some congruence between the papers and practice surveys regarding client diagnostic groups and interventions, but little between the outcome measures used in research and those used in clinical practice.