Occupational therapy practitioners' decision-making preferences, attitudes, awareness and barriers in relation to evidence-based practice implementation in Saudi Arabia

Mansour A. Alshehri, Rayan Falemban, Rayyan A. Bukhari, Hadeel Bakhsh

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aim:Evidence-based practice (EBP) plays a significant part in healthcare. There has been little research into the standard of care that healthcare workers provide to patients in Saudi Arabia. The purpose of this study was to investigate occupational therapy practitioners' (OTPs) decision-making preferences, attitudes and awareness in relation to EBP as well as to discover any barriers possibly limiting EBP implementation.Methods:A cross-sectional study was conducted using an online survey. The survey was distributed to OTPs in Saudi Arabia from May to July 2018. Data were collected on demographics, decision-making preferences, attitudes and awareness as well as on the barriers obstructing implementation of EBP. The percentages and frequencies of OTPs' responses were analysed and reported. Pearson's Chi-square test was performed to explore the association between demographic variables and the attitudes and awareness of OTPs. The data were analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics 24.Results:A total of 144 participants responded to the questionnaire, out of which 54 participants were excluded as they only completed the demographics section, and they did not answer any of the following sections. Among the completed responses (n=90), one undergraduate participant was excluded. The final number of respondents whose data were analysed was 89 (61.8%). Out of the respondents, 58.4% were female and 73% had completed a bachelor's degree. No formal training in EBP was received by many of the respondents (53.9%). Although the attitude of 79.8% of OTPs about using research in practice was positive, a number were unfamiliar with some of the terms and with EBP implementation. The most important barrier to EBP implementation mentioned by the respondents was that their previous education had involved insufficient teaching (45%), while 42.7% mentioned inadequate resources and funding and 38.2% pointed to a lack of skills and research knowledge. The only significant association found in this study was between the awareness of OTPs and their education level.Conclusion:Although the attitude of OTPs toward EBP implementation was positive, their awareness regarding the use of EBP was relatively low, indicating a gap in how they understand and apply EBP in Saudi Arabia. Thus, its inclusion in the curricula for graduates and undergraduates should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • allied health professionals
  • cross-sectional study
  • evidence-based practice
  • occupational therapy
  • Saudi Arabia


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