Role of research in occupational therapy clinical practice: applying action learning and action research in pursuit of evidence-based practice

du Toit, Sanet H. J., Wilkinson, Annette C. and Adam, Kerry (2010) Role of research in occupational therapy clinical practice: applying action learning and action research in pursuit of evidence-based practice. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 57 5: 318-330. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1630.2010.00851.x


Author du Toit, Sanet H. J.
Wilkinson, Annette C.
Adam, Kerry
Title Role of research in occupational therapy clinical practice: applying action learning and action research in pursuit of evidence-based practice
Journal name Australian Occupational Therapy Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-0766
1440-1630
Publication date 2010-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2010.00851.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 57
Issue 5
Start page 318
End page 330
Total pages 13
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: In South Africa, as in many other countries, the development of research capacity in students and their early professional career is regarded as of major importance. Within the context of clinical education for occupational therapy students at the University of the Free State, a lecturer and her students embarked on a collaborative journey while fulfilling the requirements of their undergraduate curriculum. The outcome is a model promoting evidence-based practice (EBP) during service development on a dementia care ward.

Methods: The practical use of action learning, action research (ALAR) approach in the clinical context, was used to encourage student engagement in successive small-scale research projects while simulating EBP. The projects ranged from the development of therapeutic multi-sensory environments to compiling activity profiles for identified residents. At the same time, students had the opportunity to experience the value of a scientific approach to practice development, which stimulated their awareness of the importance of research.

Results: Reflection by the researcher contributed towards more effective ways for compiling project assignments and a formalised approach for assessing projects. Students described personal and professional gains because of participation in projects against the life-changing experience of rendering a service to elderly persons suffering from dementia. The formalised approach guiding thoughts and actions finally assisted in developing a practical process model that could support EBP.

Conclusions: The ALAR model contributed towards a scholarship of practice where the students, clinical educator and residents of a dementia unit all experienced the value of research.
Keyword Action learning and action research approach
Clinical training
Evidence-based practice in ageing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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