Getting the Evidence into Practice: the Challenges and Successes of Action Research

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In health and social care, occupational therapists are acknowledging the importance of being evidence-based practitioners. The challenge is not only how to find the evidence but also how to implement research findings or best evidence in clinical practice. Furthermore, the pressure for more effective implementation of research findings is likely to increase. This paper discusses the issues and challenges that occupational therapists may face and must overcome when doing action research from the inside. Action research can be used to improve clinical practice by identifying and solving practical problems.

The paper demonstrates the use of action research to change practice by implementing a new interprofessional discharge model with fractured neck of femur patients in an inner-London teaching hospital. The strategies used to help to overcome the challenges of action research are discussed. The main problems encountered were the difficulties in reaching amicable solutions and in empowering health care professionals who often had little or no influence on decision making. While the aims of the research project were not met, it did highlight further areas that needed to be resolved in order to enhance interprofessional working.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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