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What speech therapists, occupational therapists and physical therapist need to know to become evidence-based practitioners: A cross-sectional study

What speech therapists, occupational therapists and physical therapist need to know to become evidence-based practitioners: A cross-sectional study

Zeitschrift für Evidenz Fortbildung und Qualitat Im Gesundheitswesen 140: 43-51

Today we are faced with changes in society and healthcare needs resulting from demographic transition. Among many other developments, the increasing complexity of healthcare creates new requirements for health professionals. To meet these requirements, such as evidence-based practice, professionally experienced therapists need additional training courses to acquire scientific competencies in addition to their professional competence. Certification courses for practitioners in the fields of speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy offer a way to achieve these scientific competencies. The aim of this study was to gather empirical data that help to develop scientific contents for additional training courses on a higher education level. These contents must fit the learning needs of the target group with regard to evidence-based practice. In a multi-method approach a questionnaire was created consisting of four parts. These contained closed questions on self-assessed learning needs for competencies in evidence-based practice with and without links to therapeutic practice, open questions about the design of a certification course as well as socio-demographic questions. The results were shown using frequencies and correlations between learning, work experience and level of education. Contextual correlations were calculated using Kendall's tau correlation of Cramer's V, a contingency coefficient based on Chi square. Answers to the open questions were assigned to subcategories. The answers of 70 therapists (11,5 % speech therapist, 17,1 % occupational therapists, 70 % physical therapists, 1,4 % unspecified) were evaluated. The results demonstrate that there are high learning needs (> 80 %) of the total sample regarding content of assessments and test procedures, evidence-based practice as well as clinical decision-making and interprofessional cooperation. The therapists see a high demand for additional skills combined with scientific knowledge and their own professional experience (92,8 %). Almost 90 % identified high learning requirements for the skill of critically reflecting on the treatments they provided. Depending on prior professional experience, learning needs differed for evidence-based practice with and without links to therapeutic practice. As to the design of certification courses, the participants preferred low costs, a flexible time-structure as well as teaching methods making the input more vivid and comprehensible. Scientific qualification of healthcare practitioners must address the learning requirements for evidence-based practice. For this purpose, teaching of scientific work skills such as scientific writing, evidence-based practice and quantitative and qualitative methods is recommended. The fact that the questionnaire has not been validated may limit the validity of the results. Due to the indirect distribution of the questionnaires, the survey may have been liable to non-response bias.

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Accession: 066559841

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PMID: 30837124

DOI: 10.1016/j.zefq.2019.02.003

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