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Abstract

Background: Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a process through which research is applied in daily clinical practice. Occupational therapists (OTs) and physiotherapists (PTs) are expected to work in line with EBP in order to optimise health care resources. This expectation is too seldom fulfilled. Consequently, research findings may not be implemented in clinical practice in a timely manner, or at all. To remedy this situation, additional knowledge is needed regarding what factors influence the process of EBP among practitioners. The purpose of the present study was to identify factors that influence the use of EBP and the experienced effects of the use of EBP among PTs and OTs in their clinical work. Method: This was a qualitative interview study that consisted of six group interviews involving either OTs or PTs employed by the Jönköping County Council in the South of Sweden. Resulting data were analysed using content analysis. Results: The analysis resulted in the following categories: “definition of evidence and EBP”, “sources of evidence”, “barriers to acquiring evidence and to using evidence in clinical work”, “factors that facilitate the acquisition of evidence and the use of evidence in clinical work”, and “personal experiences of using EBP”. Basing clinical practice on scientific evidence evoked positive experiences, although an ambivalent view towards acting on clinical experience was evident. Participants reported that time for and increased knowledge about searching for, evaluating, and implementing EBP were needed. Conclusion: Because OTs are more oriented towards professional theories and models, and PTs are more focused on randomised controlled trials of interventions, different strategies appear to be needed to increase EBP in these two professions. Management support was considered vital to the implementation of EBP. However, the personal obligation to work in line with EBP must also be emphasised; the participants apparently underestimate its importance.

Author Bio(s)

  • Sofi Fristedt, PhD, OT Reg, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Sweden and Researcher at Futurum – the Academy for Healthcare, Jönköping Region County Council, Jönköping, Sweden. She is also a Council Certified Specialist in Occupational Therapy.
  • Kristina Areskoug Josefsson, PhD, RPT, is an Assistant Professor in the Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Sweden. She is also a Council Certified Specialist in Physiotherapy.
  • Ann-Sofi Kammerlind, PhD, PT, is working as a researcher at Futurum – the Academy for Healthcare, Jönköping Region County Council, Jönköping, Sweden. She also teaches at the Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.

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