OTCATS: Occupational Therapy Critically Appraised Topics
Introduction Topics Project Summary EBP Links Media Releases



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Does the Sensory Profile or Sensory PRocessing Measure - Home form have stronger reliability, validity and clinical utility in identifying children with sensory processing difficulties?

Mandy Croft and Margaret Wallen

May 2014


Bi-Manual Therapy Results in in Improved Leisure Participation in Children with Cerebral Palsy Compared to Constrain Induced Movement Therapy.

Cilla Barton, Brianna Cattanach, Laura Hales, Loren Miller and Reanna Librotore

24th June 2014


Is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) effective as a modality to reduce pain and pruritus in patients with burn injuries 

Candice Osborne, OTR  

April 2013 


Do preventative home visits to community dwelling elderly adults delay admission to nursing homes whencompared to their peers who do not receive preventative home visits

Charmain Jones and Elizabeth Wyatt


May 2012 



The use of PDA's following brain injury 

Emma Tan & Tran Vu 

May 2012 


Is Electrical Stimulation effective in preventing and/or reducing shoulder subluxation in children following stroke? 

Ashlee Doidge  

January 2013 


Does the use of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) result in improved upper limb function for children with hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy?  

Sheri Montgomery

October 2012


There is inconclusive data to either support or refute the efficacy of splints in decreasing joint pain due to the progression of rheumatoid arthritis 

Katrina Foo and
Andrew Hollis

May 10, 2011 


Use of the Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) approach resulted in improved performance on self-selected goals for children with acquired brain injury (ABI).

Emma Brady, Ceris Morrison, Rivka Cylich and Emma Drane, 4th Year Occupational Therapy students, and Jane Galvin, Lecturer, LaTrobe University, Victoria, Australia. 


June 2012 



There is low level evidence to support the use of functional electrical stimulation to enhance function in the upper limb of children with neurological conditions.

Erin Cleary, Alison Waite and Kathryn Asher

May 2011



People with mental illness in paid employment report that self management of mental health and support in and outside the workplace helps them to remain employed 

Rebecca Ponchard, Lizzy Talbot, Justin Rowe 

January 2010



There is little evidence on the effect of upper limb strengthening in children with cerebral palsy 

Kirsty  Stewart, Margaret Wallen 

July 2008



There is currently insufficient evidence either to support or refute the use of case management services to improve community integration of people with a traumatic brain injury 

Anna Castle-Burton
Kareena Henry


August 2002



Constraint induced movement therapy does not produce clinically significant improvement in upper limb function following stroke 

Natasha Lannin, Kathryn Thorpe, Belinda Armstrong,


Reviewed February 2004 (Original CAT conducted October 2002). 


Do outreach brain injury services improve outcome in adults with a brain injury compared with the provision of information? 

Irena Gordon,
Bronwyn Jones


January 2002



There is fair evidence (level 2b) that a 10-week work-related social skills training for people with chronic schizophrenia, with three month follow-up support, increases their ability to gain and retain employment by 44%, when compared to controls 

Marika Beaudet  

May 2004 


Does public transport training versus no intervention help clients with TBI/CVA increase their independence in accessing their local community?

Helen Wood

December 2002



There is no evidence to support or refute the clinical assumption that the use of baby walkers has a negative effect on motor development 

Paula S.C. chagas (MSc, PT),
Rachel S.M. Cunha (PT),
Maris C. Mancini (ScD, OT),
Livia C Magalhaes (PhD, OT)

October 2007



Multisensory therapy did not result in statistically or clinically important changes in behaviour in individuals with a dual diagnosis of intellectual disability and mental illness 

Ashleigh Haskins 

May 2006 


There is no Evidence to Confirm the Benefits of Attendance at a Special Needs Playgroup. 

Diana Barnett 

November 2005 


There is evidence (level 1b) that non-silicone polyurethane gel dressings are significantly more effective in reducing the cosmetic severity of mature hypertrophic scars than silicone gel dressings 

Jill Hackett 

May 2005 


There was insufficient evidence to determine whether occupational therapy interventions to improve the use of the upper limb also enhanced social participation in children with cerebral palsy 

Claire Hyland, Jessica Campbell, & Mary-Lou Taft
and Christine Imms (Lecturer) 

December 2005 


The Cognistat is a sensitive measure for screening and identifying people with cognitive impairment following ABI in acute hospital settings 

Rebecca Nicks

November 2007 


There is some Level 2b evidence (RCTs) of low methodological quality to support the use of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy with children who have a hemiparesis 

Margaret Wallen, 

Revised May 2006



The PEDI has better psychometric properties than the WeeFIM, and is therefore the instrument of choice for measuring individual self care outcomes in children with acquired brain injury aged between 6 months and 7.5 years 

Robyn Gall, Richard Denniston, Natalie Hookway & Jane Galvin

June  2004



There is good evidence (level 1a) that hip protectors are not effective in reducing the incidence of hip fracture following a fall, in elderly people living in the community, but may be effective for elderly people with a previous history of hip fracture living in aged-care facilities. 

Kathryn Thorpe  

May 2004 


There is insufficient evidence (level 4) to support or refute the use of therapy balls as
an alternate form of seating for improving classroom behaviour of children with
autistic/behavioural disorders.

Kristy Holman 

May 2005 


There is fair evidence (level 2b) to support the use of massage following surgical and traumatic hand injuries to increase wrist active ROM 

Kristen Elvery 

May 2004



There is inconsistent evidence that prolonged low load stretching is effective in minimising loss of external rotation PROM following stroke

Leo Ross  

September 2005 


There is insufficient evidence (level 4) to support or refute sensory integration as an intervention to increase functional play behaviours and decrease non-engaged behaviours in pre-school children with autism 

Melissa de Rooy  

May 2004



Does discharge planning prevent readmission to inpatient psychiatric units?

Holly Missio

November 2002


There is fair evidence to suggest that clients with traumatic brain injury observe fewer everyday memory failures (scoring 22.5 points less on the Everyday Memory Questionnaire) after 9 weeks of notebook training 

David Quach 

May 2003 


There is strong evidence (level 1a) that electrical stimulation applied early after stroke, increasing from one to six hours per day, can prevent 6.5mm of shoulder subluxation 

David Chircop 

June 2004 


Does modified vehicle seating (suspension seats/lumbar support) reduce low back pain for long distance drivers or drivers operating vehicles over rough terrain? 

Deirdre Hill


October 2002 


There is little published evidence to support or refute the use of passive ranging to improve tenodesis hand function in people with C6 quadriplegia, in the first 6 months post-injury 

Glenda Price 

July 2003 


Does access to computers improve employment rates for spinal cord injured clients? 

Jacquelyn Compton

November, 2002  


There is good evidence (Level 1b), to support the recommendation that functional electrical stimulation prevents shoulder subluxation in hemiplegic stroke patients,
by 0.4cm over 4 weeks.

Jacqui Keys 

April 2003 


There is fair (2b) level evidence that living skills training is effective at improving independence in food preparation, money management, personal possessions, and efficacy, in adults with persistent schizophrenia 

Jane Healey  

May 2004



Does early intervention improve return to work rates outcomes in clients with low back pain? 

Elizabeth Brooks & Rachel Watson 

October 2002



The use of a multifactorial falls risk assessment and management plan reduces the risk of falling and the monthly fall rate of older adults, and is the most effective component of a falls prevention programme 

Lauren Costelloe 

May 2004



There is preliminary evidence (level 4) that social stories are effective in decreasing challenging behaviours and may improve social interaction skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders 

Lise Ludwig Mogensen 

May 2005 


Does training in workplace adjustment and posture prevent occupational overuse syndrome in workplace based computer users? 

Meryl Lovarini 

November 2002 


When seated in a wheelchair, how many degrees tilt is needed to improve postural stability for function in chidren with a neurological disorder? 

Karen Fermin,
Michelle Wellard

September 2002 


Adolescents and parents describe insufficient educator and peer understanding, employment options, and transitional programs as impacting on the transitions to school and employment post acquired brain injury. 

Nicole Sharp 

April 2003 


Does keyboard design improve performance and/or comfort of workplace-based computer users with musculoskeletal disorders? 

Kathryn Caukill, Deborah Hammond, Sigrun Wunram, OT Network


December 2002 


What evidence exists that the use of a powered wheelchair improves role performance in clients with a physical disability? 

Peta Hardy & Coralie Clifford


April 2005 


Does the use of compensatory cognitive strategies improve employment outcomes in people with an acquired brain impairment? 

Rosamaria Coster
Rehabilitation Consultant (OT) , CRS Australia


December 2002 


A computer-based cognitive rehabilitation program, involving scanning training twice a week for 7 weeks, did not improve cognitive function in patients with unilateral left visual neglect. 

Regina Buccello


October 2003 


Does education in energy conservation improve function in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? 

Stella Chong 

January 2003 


Are hoists used effectively by carers to safely transfer people with physical disabilities? 

Susie Mullen, 

January 2003 




Supported and funded by Occupational Therapy Australia
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