Exploring if and how evidence-based practice of occupational and physical therapists evolves over time: A longitudinal mixed methods national study


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Iqbal, M. Z., Rochette, A., Mayo, N. E., Valois, M.-F., Bussières, A. E., Ahmed, S., Debigaré, Richard, Letts, L. J., MacDermid, J. C., Ogourtsova, T., Polatajko, H. J., Rappolt, S., Salbach, N. M. et Thomas, A. (2023). Exploring if and how evidence-based practice of occupational and physical therapists evolves over time: A longitudinal mixed methods national study. PLOS ONE, 18 (3). Article e0283860. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0283860

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Occupational therapists (OTs) and physiotherapists (PTs) are expected to provide evidence-based services to individuals living with disabilities. Despite the emphasis on evidence-based practice (EBP) by professional entry-level programs and professional bodies, little is known about their EBP competencies upon entry to practice and over time or what factors impact EBP use. The aim of the study was to measure and understand how EBP evolves over the first three years after graduation among Canadian OTs and PTs, and how individual and organizational factors impact the continuous use of EBP.

A longitudinal, mixed methods sequential explanatory study. We administered a survey questionnaire measuring six EBP constructs (knowledge, attitudes, confidence, resources, use of EBP and evidence-based activities) annually, followed by focus group discussions with a subset of survey participants. We performed group-based trajectory modeling to identify trajectories of EBP over time, and a content analysis of qualitative data guided by the Theoretical Domains Framework.

Of 1700 graduates in 2016–2017, 257 (response rate = 15%) responded at baseline (T0) (i.e., at graduation), and 83 (retention rate = 32%), 75 (retention rate = 29%), and 74 (retention rate = 29%) participated at time point 1 (T1: one year into practice), time point 2 (T2: two years into practice, and time point 3 (T3: three years into practice) respectively. Group-based trajectory modeling showed four unique group trajectories for the use of EBP. Over 64% of participants (two trajectories) showed a decline in the use of EBP over time. Fifteen practitioners (7 OTs and 8 PTs) participated in the focus group discussions. Personal and peer experiences, client needs and expectations, and availability of resources were perceived to influence EBP the most.

Though a decline in EBP may be concerning, it is unclear if this decline is clinically meaningful and whether professional expertise can offset such declines. Stakeholder-concerted efforts towards the common goal of promoting EBP in education, practice and policy are needed.

Type de document: Article
Date de dépôt: 31 juill. 2023 15:01
Dernière modification: 31 juill. 2023 15:01
Version du document déposé: Version officielle de l'éditeur
URI: https://depot-e.uqtr.ca/id/eprint/10800

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