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Occupational Therapy Assistant

Research resources for Occupational Therapy Assistant students.

How to Use This Guide

This guide was designed to offer OTA 140 students:

  • Context in research concepts
  • The best resources for OTA research
  • OTA 140 Signature Assignment materials
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Joe Eshleman
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704.330.6764

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Cite Your Research!

OTA Research, part 1: Concepts

Evidence-Based Practice

One of the earliest and certainly the most influential definitions of evidence-based practice (EBP) is by Sackett et al. (1996): 'Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.' The focus of this definition is clearly on the use of research to inform decision-makers and enhance their decision-making capabilities. The decision-makers appear here to be the clinicians, those responsible for the care of individual patients, and indeed the experience and judgement of clinicians is an integral part of the process. However, an unrepresented group in this definition are patients, users or clients and it is essential that their subjective values, preferences, beliefs and opinions are incorporated into the decision-making process.

Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Articles

OTA Research, part 2: Evaluating Sources

The CRAAP Test

Did you find something you think you can use? Evaluate first!

C – Currency: When was this information written or last updated? Is it outdated?
R – Relevance: Does this help your topic? Is it an appropriate level?
A – Authority: Who wrote it? What are their qualifications?
A – Accuracy: Is it supported by evidence? Any typos or other errors?
P – Purpose: Is it trying to inform, sell, persuade, or entertain? Is the info fact, opinion, or propaganda? Why is the information here?

If your source doesn't pass the CRAAP Test, then consider finding something better! Need help? Ask a librarian!

OTA Research, part 3: Finding Sources

Library Research Databases

Research from the Open Web

OTA Research, part 4: Citing Sources

Giving credit where you find your information is an essential part of the research process and APA is the style by which OTA students have to demonstrate that.