OBJECTIVE. To test the effectiveness of an educational intervention aimed at improving mental health knowledge and skills in occupational therapists working with older rehabilitation patients.

METHOD. The DVD-format educational intervention was evaluated using a two-group randomized wait-list control design. Occupational therapists (n = 75) completed a 32-item knowledge questionnaire at three time points. Patient charts were reviewed (n = 960) at 3 months before and 3 and 6 months after DVD training to evaluate clinical practice change.

RESULTS. A two-way analysis of variance showed knowledge scores increased significantly for both groups after DVD training. A significant Group × Time interaction and significant main effects for time and group were found. Chart review data also showed significant increases in desired clinical behaviors in both groups after training. The greatest single item of clinical practice change was use of a standardized depression screen.

CONCLUSION. DVD-based training can significantly improve mental health practice.

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