Today, healthcare providers and occupational therapists are increasingly required to rely on evidence-based practices. In both outpatient and inpatient settings, the use of research-based practices can be identified using the Research Utilization Measure questionnaire.
This study explores how occupational therapists in Sweden perceive research utilization.
The Research Utilization Measure was sent to 807 randomly selected occupational therapists in Sweden, and the response rate was 59% (n = 472).
The majority of respondents (56%, n = 256) reported use of research-based knowledge in their practice "very or rather often", although 49% (n = 225) of the therapists noted that they "very seldom or never" discussed research findings with their managers. Differences in answers for most items were related to degree of education and length of experience. Occupational therapists with higher education levels more often reported use of research in their clinical practice and therapists with greater experience less often reported use of research in their clinical practice.
Education seems to influence the degree to which occupational therapists rely on research to inform their practices. A future challenge for managers and occupational therapists is to create strategic discussions on how to implement treatment that is based on current research.