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Course Overview

Participants will develop skills for critically appraising and interpreting professional literature necessary for supporting evidence-based clinical practice. Evaluation of evidence will include both qualitative and quantitative studies. Participants will learn how to create a PICO question from a real life practice situation, effectively search databases, appraise the evidence found with a critical eye and identify what and how to integrate evidence into the clinical decision making process. This session has limited seats to allow for actual hands-on practice in searching. Participants are encouraged to come prepared to work on an actual clinical case of their own for the application portion.


Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to create PICO questions that will lead to evidence, effectively locate evidence from accessible databases, critically appraise evidence for both qualitative and quantitative studies, and identify evidence that is critical in decision-making as well as describe how to implement into practice.

Continuing Education Credits

Occupational therapy
The Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. This course is offered for 5.5 AOTA CEUs. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

Program Agenda

8:00-8:30 am   Registration
8:30-9:30   Review of Essential Statistics
9:30-10:15   Searching for Evidence: Accessible databases and how to use them
10:15-10:30   Break
10:30-11:00   PICO Questions: What are they?
11 am-12 pm    How to critically appraise quantitative and qualitative studies
12:00-1:30 pm   Lunch on your own
1:30-2:30   Locating and appraising your evidence
2:30-3:00   Discussion of findings
3:00-3:15   Break
3:15-4:00   Applying evidence to practice
4:00 pm   Adjourn

Course Presenters

Patricia Nellis, MBA, OTR/L is manager of the Community Practice at Washington University's Program in Occupational Therapy. She has multiple years of experience with practices in different adult-based settings. As a manager, she was able to successfully initiate the process of using evidence to shape and improve practice in the acute, rehab, and skilled nursing settings. In addition, she teaches the lab portion of the Research and Evidence Based Practice course for the Program and is the course master for Managing in a Changing Practice Environment.  

Kimberly Walker, OTD, OTR/L, ATP is a clinical specialist with the Community Practice and she has both clinical and teaching roles within the Program. She has experience in assistive technology and both in-home and outpatient OT with children and adults. She currently sees clients within the Seating and Mobility clinic. In addition, she co-teaches the lab portion of the Research and Evidence Based Practice course, co-teaches Supporting Participation with Technology and Environmental Interventions, is the course master for Contemporary Issues in OT Practice III course and assists with the Environmental Factors Facilitating Performance and Participation I and II courses.


Registration Fees

  • $95 - Registration fee
  • $80 - AOTA member fee
  • $60 - WU faculty/staff/fieldwork educator registration fee
  • $20 - Student registration fee
  • Click here to register online

Course Location

This course will be held in the Tech Lab, located inside the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine. Our building is located at 4444 Forest Park Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108.
Click here for directions.

Course Cancellations, Special Accommodations, and Disclosure Policy

Contact Us

Please contact us at (314) 286-1600 with any questions or for more information.

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