#COT2017. S75(2) Interactive Journal Club

Journal Club: An exploration of the attitudes, knowledge and ability of occupational therapists in applying evidence to practice.

The paper:

Upton, D., Stephens, D., Williams, B., and Scurlock-Evans, L. (2014)

Occupational Therapists’ Attitudes, Knowledge, and Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice: A Systematic Review of Published Research.

British Journal of Occupational Therapy 77 (1) pp24-38

The interactive journal club format is new for COT2017 and I jumped at the chance to cover one of these sessions. I’m particularly interested in this format as it is something we have been discussing setting up at my workplace and having never attended a journal club before I was keen to see what the format could offer.

The interactive journal club format is new for COT2017 and I jumped at the chance to cover one of these sessions. I’m particularly interested in this format as it is something we have been discussing setting up at my workplace and having never attended a journal club before I was keen to see what the format could offer.

Sam Turner started by providing an overview of the article and outlining the key findings as well as a brief critique of her own. She proclaimed she was by no means an expert but has had experience of running journal clubs in the past and hoped for it to be an interactive critical discussion. The article she had chosen was brilliantly linked to overall conference themes around engagement in research and evidence based practice, as well as the CPD theme of this combined session.

The key finding of this systematic review is that there is disparity between our attitudes to evidence based practice and our actual real-world application of it. Perceived benefits include helping occupational therapists to demonstrate the effectiveness of our interventions, as well as fill gaps in our knowledge. However, the article also showed that there are negative perceptions of evidence based practice in terms of physical/financial resources and therapist time required, as well as the view that it can stifle creativity. What came out most strongly from this Sam’s introduction to the article was that organisational challenges and perceived barriers to implementing evidence based practice remain a key concern.

Sam’s critique touched on the validity of the research question, the methodology of the systematic review and her positive thoughts about the resulting recommendations of the article. She then opened the session up to the floor for comments and for a moment the room fell completely and utterly silent. But bit by bit the delegates, myself included, began to speak up – and what followed was an interesting and lively discussion.

Whilst some of this discussion did diverge from critiquing the research, pre-prepared guiding questions were a great way to ground the session in the article and keep us thinking about what it meant for our practice and ongoing development. Sam’s skilled facilitation allowed discussion to play out amongst delegates with some interesting points being made:

  • In order to support and encourage evidence based practice we need a strong occupational therapy presence at higher levels within organisations to allow room for the application of evidence to happen. Applying evidence to practice is not easy and practitioners need to feel supported from above if they are to drive change.
  • Evidence based practice isn’t just about journals. One delegate suggested for RCOT to start collecting data of when their guidelines are downloaded in the form of a quick tick box survey to capture the who/how/why/where/when of guidelines usage.
  • We all do evidence based practice more than we talk about it – even a quick look at a guideline counts and we need to shout about this!
  • We need to empower our service users to challenge us regarding our practice and the evidence behind it. They are the people who experience what works and what doesn’t.
  • Further engagement with social media is key. OTalk has been a great forum for getting people talking about evidence based practice and we should be encouraging the use of this new technology and communication methods we are so lucky to have.
  • Journal clubs are a great way to get people engaged in evidence based practice and should include all levels of therapist – combined top-down and a bottom-up approaches provide the best ideas and discussion.

That is where the session had to come to a close. Everyone was so engaged I think it could have gone on much longer. I hope the Conference Development Team decide to keep this new journal club idea going in 2018 and give just a little more time for sessions.

20170620_131942As a newly qualified occupational therapist there was so much to gain from seeing more experienced therapists discuss their thoughts and ideas all sparked by one piece of research, and a real confidence boost to know I could contribute to the discussion. I’m excited to take what I learnt from this experience back to my workplace and plan to taking our own journal club plans forward with renewed enthusiasm!

 

By Ayla Greenwood, @AylaOT

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: #COT2017 Your index guide to the blog posts | OTalk

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