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Occupational Therapy: Appraise the Evidence

Resources used for researching occupational therapy topics at Bowling Green State University

Hierarchy of Evidence

Evidence Level

Types of Evidence


Level I

-Systematic review of RCTs, with or without meta-analysis

-Experimental study, randomized controlled trial (RCT)

-Explanatory mixed methods design that includes only a Level I quantitative study

Level II

-Systematic review of a combination of RCTs and quasi-experimental studies, or quasi-experimental studies only, with or without meta-analysis

-Quasi-experimental study

-Explanatory mixed methods design that includes only a Level II quantitative study

Level III

-Systematic review of a combination of RCTs, quasi-experimental and nonexperimental studies, or nonexperimental studies only, with or without meta-analysis.

- Nonexperimental study (Single group)

-Exploratory, convergent, or multiphasic mixed methods studies

-Explanatory mixed methods design that includes only a Level III quantitative study

-Qualitative study

-Systematic review of qualitative studies with or without meta-synthesis


Level IV

Opinion of respected authorities and/or nationally recognized expert committees or consensus panels based on scientific evidence. Includes:

-Clinical practice guidelines

-Consensus panels/position statements

Level V

Based on experiential and non-research evidence. Includes:

-Scoping reviews

-Integrative reviews

-Literature reviews

-Quality improvement, program or financial evaluation

-Case reports

-Opinion of nationally recognized expert(s) based on experiential evidence

2022 Johns Hopkins Health System/Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Dang, D., Dearholt, S., Bissett, K., Ascenzi, J., & Whalen, M. (2022). Johns Hopkins evidence-based practice for nurses and healthcare professionals: Model and guidelines. 4th ed. Sigma Theta Tau International