Pilot Use of the Adapted Fresno Test for Evaluating Evidence-Based Practice Knowledge in Occupational Therapy Students

Am J Occup Ther. 2020 Jul/Aug;74(4):7404205100p1-7404205100p9. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2020.037861.


Importance: A core tenet of occupational therapy is that practitioners should use evidence in their practice. Nevertheless, many occupational therapy practitioners feel limited in their evidence-based practice (EBP) knowledge. Conceivably, improving EBP knowledge in students would facilitate their greater knowledge as practitioners. Other researchers have modified teaching methods and content to enhance knowledge in students but did not empirically evaluate the acquisition of knowledge.

Objective: To empirically evaluate EBP knowledge acquisition.

Design: Descriptive, mixed-methods pilot study.

Setting: A graduate occupational therapy program.

Participants: Fifty-one second-year occupational therapy students.

Outcomes and measures: We used the Adapted Fresno Test of Competence in Evidence-Based Practice to measure evidence-based practice knowledge. We also qualitatively assessed students' perceptions of what influenced their development of EBP knowledge and how they felt after completing the posttest.

Results: We found significant improvements in EBP knowledge. We also found the following qualitative themes regarding influences on students' EPB knowledge development: helpful supports, learning activities, and the context of doing with others.

Conclusions and relevance: We observed significant gains in EBP knowledge, as measured by the Adapted Fresno Test, after occupational therapy students completed an EBP course. We theorize that students' gains in EBP knowledge will support their ability to successfully use evidence in their future occupational therapy practice.

What this article adds: Our findings on the Adapted Fresno Test indicate that our course successfully promoted acquisition of EBP knowledge. We theorize that students' gains in evidence-based practice knowledge will support their ability to successfully use evidence in their future occupational therapy practice.

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Occupational Therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires