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Submitted by: Heather R. Porter, Ph.D., CTRS

As healthcare providers, it is imperative to stay up-to-date on current research and best practices; and update our clinical approaches and interventions accordingly. This requires the consistent reading of journal articles related to one’s area of practice, reflective thought regarding the findings, and incorporation of the findings as appropriate into clinical practice, referred to as Evidence-Based Practice (EBP).

Healthcare agencies are increasingly demanding the utilization of EBP to strengthen outcomes and improve services. Insurance companies are also beginning to request literature that supports the efficacy of interventions and tying this to reimbursement.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are the most sought after literature to justify the efficacy of interventions. In a systematic review, all of the studies on a particular intervention are synthesized to determine the current state-of-the-art regarding the intervention (e.g., common outcomes and themes found throughout the studies). A meta-analysis also synthesizes findings from all of the studies on a particular intervention, but it utilizes statistical methods to combine the results from all of the studies to determine the state-of-the-art regarding the intervention.

Recreational therapists can find systematic reviews and meta-analyses, as well as additional types of research studies, on RT Wise Owls (www.rtwiseowls). RT Wise Owls is a free open-access database and information resource center developed by the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University that contains evidence-based research and resources relevant to the scope of recreational therapy practice. Here are a few quick facts about the site:


  • Currently contains 184 research summaries and journal articles related to RT practice and more are being added regularly.
  • Provides an explanation of the Knowledge Translation Action Cycle to help RTs learn how to conduct their own evidence-based practice literature review.
  • Contains links to over 70 evidence-based practice search engines, webinars, and outcome measurement sites to help you find additional information to strengthen your evidence-based practice knowledge and skills.


*** More information will continually be added to RT Wise Owls, so be sure to “follow” us by entering your email address on the webpage. If you do this, you will receive notifications of new posts by email.

go here: https://rtwiseowls.com/