What is Evidence Based Practice?
As a parent, as a person, as a consumer we should always consider the outcome of our decisions. In terms of simple logic, will doing A lead to B? Will putting my child on a certain diet or making them wear a certain vest produce the results I am looking for?
As an Occupational Therapist we are expected to use Evidence Based Practice to drive our treatment.
Evidence is proof. It is scientific proof, not one or two people reporting their results. It is based on RESEARCH that was good enough to be publised in a medical journal with a good reputation. This means the study was strong, it was planned and conducted in a manner that would produce results that would give clear answers.
Based means we are using the research as a guide. We may read a study about an intervention and how it was implemented in a very strict regimen, we may only need to use some elements of this treatment and see good results.
For example weighted vests used to be used as a sensory intervention however studies did not show clear results that they helped reduce sensory behaviors and they also poorly affected posture in children with low muscle tone. Now compression vests are used and therapists document behavior to examine, then put the vest on the child, and document the SAME behavior to see if the compressiom vest worked with the child as a sensory intervention. Evidence is used to guide our practice.
Parenting is such a difficult task, parents can be vulnerable to anyone who claims to be able to help their child. New parents buy all the tools and gadgets they think they need for their child, special needs parents would do anything for their kids. However, I invite you to reflect and think about any treatment you are giving your child, any intervention you are applying.
As always, feel free to comment and share.