How to Make Your Pediatric OT Practice More Evidence-Based, and Why You Should

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Evidence based practice in pediatric occupational therapy

What does it mean to be an evidence-based practice pediatric occupational therapist? This is a question that many therapists are asking themselves more and more these days. It is important to make sure that we are providing the best possible care for our patients, and that means basing our decisions on evidence whenever possible.

In this blog post, we will discuss what evidence-based practice is and how to apply it in your own pediatric occupational therapy practice.

What is evidence-based practice?

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a clinical decision-making process that integrates the best available research evidence with clinical expertise and patient needs.

In other words, it is a way of making sure that we are using the most up-to-date and effective treatments by basing our decisions on research evidence whenever possible.

How do evidence-based practice occupational therapy interventions look in pediatric OT?

There are many ways to incorporate an evidence-based approach into your pediatric OT practice. Here are a few examples:

1. Use standardized assessments to collect data and track progress.

2. Select intervention activities and strategies based on research evidence whenever possible.

3. Use outcome measures that have been shown to be reliable and valid in pediatric populations.

4. Keep up to date with the latest occupational therapy research by reading OT journals and attending conferences. You can do this by using the OT Graphically library or joining AOTA.

5. Use evidence-based resources to guide clinical decision-making, such as the American Occupational Therapy Association’s EBP Toolkit, AJOT Research, or OT Graphically.

Why is it important to use an evidence-based approach?

There are many reasons why it is important to use an evidence-based approach in pediatric OT. First and foremost, it ensures that we are providing the best possible care for our patients.

Additionally, using an evidence-based approach can help to improve clinical outcomes, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce healthcare costs.

Finally, basing our decisions on research evidence helps to ensure that occupational therapy remains a science-based profession.

What are some challenges associated with implementing an evidence-based approach?

There can be some challenges associated with implementing an evidence-based approach, such as lack of time, resources, and knowledge.

However, these challenges can be overcome by collaborating with other therapists, using available resources, and keeping up to date with the latest research.

One great resource I have come across recently is OT Graphically’s membership. It is a community to share resources and get support on using evidence-based practice as occupational therapy professionals. The membership has journal clubs, infographics, and discussions on how to incorporate evidence-based research into your practice.

They also have a new courseBecoming Evidence-Based. Which provides information on how to become an evidence-based practitioner.

What are some of the benefits of using an evidence-based approach in pediatric OT?

The benefits of using an evidence-based approach in pediatric OT include improved clinical outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and reduced healthcare costs. Additionally, using an evidence-based approach helps to ensure that occupational therapy remains a science-based profession.

Which pediatric OT intervention strategies are backed up by research?

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Katie Caspero the founder of OT Graphically where she uses infographics to help researchers share their work. Katie’s library is a great way to keep up with OT research and increase the use of evidence-based interventions in your OT practice.

When speaking with Katie she used several pediatric OT practices which are evidence-based examples such as:

1. The Cognitive Approach to Orientation of Occupational Performance (CO-OP) for working on goals related to IADLs with kids with brain injuries

2. Parent coaching to support new food introduction for kids with sensory aversions to food as well as with early intervention and telehealth services

3. Using bimanual hand training (HABIT) for kids with cerebral palsy

4. Using a structured play-based curriculum like JASPER or SCERTS to support engaging in play for autistic children

5. And the one I am most familiar with, where the research has shown that in order to make an impact on handwriting abilities, using both sensory-motor activities/preparatory activities AND letter formation practice using a handwriting curriculum like Handwriting Without Tears are needed.

What are some resources that can help you learn more about evidence-based practice in pediatric OT?

Some resources that can help you learn more about evidence-based practice in pediatric OT include the American Occupational Therapy Association’s EBP Toolkit, the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists’ EBP webpage, and the Evidence in Motion EBP Resources page. Along with the OT Graphically library.

OT Graphically

Looking for a great way to stay up with the latest research?

Check out this program from OT Graphically!

Using an evidence-based approach is a clinical decision-making process that integrates the best available evidence with clinical expertise and patient values and preferences. It is a way of making sure that we are providing the best possible care for our patients by basing our decisions on research evidence.

OTs select evidence-based practices to use within their chosen occupational therapy frame of reference.

There can be some challenges associated with implementing an evidence-based approach, but these can be overcome by collaborating with other therapists, using available resources, and keeping up to date with the latest research.

The benefits of using an evidence-based approach in pediatric OT include improved clinical outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and reduced healthcare costs. To ensure that your practice is evidence-based, use standardized assessments, select intervention activities and strategies based on research evidence, use outcome measures that have been shown to be reliable and valid in pediatric populations, keep up to date with the latest research, and use evidence-based resources to guide clinical decision-making.

OTs can be more evidence-based by keeping up with the research, attending workshops and webinars, reading journals, and networking with colleagues. What are some other ways you’ve found helpful in staying current on research? Let us know in the comments below!

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