Afr J Disabil. 2022 May 18;11:943. doi: 10.4102/ajod.v11i0.943. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: The Chaeli Campaign is a Cape Town based non-profit organisation offering programmes largely for children and youth with disabilities in diverse under-resourced communities in South Africa. Their therapy team established a Health Professions Council of South Africa accredited interdisciplinary journal club in January 2012, with the aim to improve the team’s service to the community.
OBJECTIVES: Our first objective was to make our practice more evidence-based through reading systematically and critically in our field. Our second objective was to write up and share some of our practices to contribute to the generation of practice-based evidence.
METHOD: First-person action research was applied. The core group of participants over time comprised two occupational therapists, one physiotherapist, two speech therapists, two teachers and four community development workers. Nine iterative cycles of planning, action, review and revised planning have been implemented on an annual basis in this non-formal, long-term action research project.
RESULTS: For over nine and a half years we have pre-read, discussed and completed evaluation questionnaires on 54 peer-reviewed journal articles, conducted 12 conference presentations and published three articles in accredited journals. Participants reported a broadened understanding of issues around disability, more reflective, contextually and culturally appropriate practice and improved interdisciplinary teamwork.
CONCLUSION: The Chaeli Campaign journal club has built the capacity of therapists, teachers and community development workers to find, read, evaluate and use research evidence to improve their practice. It has also given participants the opportunity to ethically research, present and write up their grass roots interventions, thus contributing to locally applicable practise-based evidence. It is hoped that the sharing of our experience will assist and encourage other teams to start interdisciplinary journal clubs as a step towards facilitating two-way knowledge translation from evidence to practice and from practice to evidence.
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