Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines

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Terms and Abbreviations

  • Green evidence – Go: high-quality evidence indicating effectiveness.
  • Yellow evidence – Caution/Measure: insufficient evidence exists. Promising evidence, unknown effectiveness because no research exists, or evidence suggests possibly no effect.
  • Red evidence – Stop: high-quality evidence indicating ineffectiveness.
  • RCT – Randomized Controlled Trial
  • SR – Systematic Review
  • (2), (3), (4), etc. – quantity of. E.g., 2021(2) = 2 EBPs from 2021


Before implementing any new intervention with a client, occupational therapy practitioners should be aware of the potential benefits, risks, and harms of the intervention. Occupational therapy practitioners should exercise professional reasoning based on the client’s particular strengths and limitations before providing any intervention. Professional reasoning and judgment is also required when choosing which intervention protocols are feasible for their clients.

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Novak, I. (2012). Evidence to practice commentary: the evidence alert traffic light grading system. Physical & occupational therapy in pediatrics32(3), 256-259.