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Online Tour of OTseeker

The following pages highlight important features of the OTseeker database and how to use it. Click the green arrow in the bottom left corner of the screen to move through the tutorial.

This tutorial may be used freely for educational purposes


Purpose and Content Purpose:  To provide free access to research evidence relevant to occupational therapy interventions. Contains:  Citations to over 7000 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews relevant to occupational therapy.  Critical appraisal of all RCTs.  Information about evidence-based practice and implementing evidence.  Links to other evidence-based practice, implementing evidence and injury management websites.

This is the OTseeker homepage. Click on the tabs above or options below to move between pages.

One of the main functions of OTseeker is to help you find articles relevant to occupational therapy interventions. Click on ‘Search’ to search the database.

Searches using Keywords find articles with that term in the abstract or title. Using synonyms combined with the word ‘OR’ will find more articles.

There are many other ways to search OTseeker. Searches may also be done using the author’s name, title of the article, journal title, method, year, or methodological score.

You can also search using drop-down menus. All articles have been coded according to intervention and diagnostic categories.

To use the intervention menu, click on the arrow at the end of the intervention box. Scroll down until you find the intervention you are interested in. You can use this menu alone or in combination with other search options (eg. Keywords). When you click ‘Search’ or ‘Enter’ articles are displayed that are relevant to that intervention.

For information on what has been included in each intervention category, click “more information.”

The diagnosis/sub-discipline menu is used in a similar way. Scroll down until you find the diagnosis or sub-discipline category you are interested in. This menu can be used alone or in combination with other search options (eg. Keywords). When you click ‘Search’ or ‘Enter’ articles from that diagnostic or sub-discipline category are shown.

There are many ways to improve your searches of OTseeker, for example, using boolean operators such as ‘AND’, ‘OR’, and ‘NOT’. For more information about searching and the many options available click ‘Help with searching’ or ‘What’s this?’

All RCTs in OTseeker are rated for internal validity (scored out of 8) and statistical reporting (scored out of 2). Details and guidelines about scoring can be found by In 2 PDF documents called ‘Rating Guidelines’ and ‘Rating Sheet’.

Selecting ‘Search’ or ‘Enter’ on the main search page will bring up a list of relevant article titles. Articles are listed in the order of their methodological ratings. Systematic reviews are listed first, followed by RCTs.

Details about each article are provided by either: 1) clicking on an individual title,or 2) selecting boxes for a number of titles and then selecting ‘View Selected Articles’.

The citation information for the article is at the top of the Detailed Search Results page.

To determine the clinical significance and applicability of results it is important to have information about between-group estimates, point estimates and variability . The statistical reporting score indicates whether or not the RCT contains this information.

Each RCT has been critically appraised methodological quality by 2 independent raters. The internal validity score for each trial is determined by summing the presence or absence of 8 criteria. Details about these criteria and statistical reporting can be found in the ‘Questions’ and ‘Resources’ pages of OTseeker, or by selecting the ‘Rating Guidelines’ or ‘Rating Sheet’ PDFs on the main Search page.

The ‘About’ page provides information on the origin and development of OTseeker.

The ‘Questions’ page provides answers to frequently asked questions about OTseeker.

The ‘Resources’ page provides information about EBP, systematic reviews, RCTs and determining whether information in an article is clinically useful.

We value feedback about OTseeker. In particular, if you know of an RCT or systematic review that is not in OTseeker, and is relevant to occupational therapy, please email the details so that it may be added. If there are any errors we would appreciate being notified so that they may be corrected. Please include information about your organisation so that we can tailor replies more effectively.

The ‘Links’ page provides links to many other evidence-based practice resources available on the Internet.

‘Injury Management Resources’ and ‘Implementing Evidence in Practice’ can be accessed from the ‘Home’ page.

The ‘Injury Management Resources’ page offers a specialised search resource to locate research information about injury management, and provides links to many other injury management resources available on the Internet.

The ‘Implementing Evidence in Practice’ page provides information about the process and experience of implementing evidence, as well as links to many other Implementing evidence resources available on the Internet.

OTseeker has received generous support from many organisations and individuals. Details are provided on the ‘Acknowledgments’ page.

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