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Volume 46 Number 3, 2009
   Pages 305 — 314

Abstract - Assessing the state of clinically applicable research for evidence-based practice in prosthetics and orthotics

Mark D. Geil, PhD

Department of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

Abstract — Evidence-based practice combines a practitioner's training and experience with evidence established through scientific research. Fundamental to the evidence-based process for prosthetics and orthotics is the ongoing availability of clinically applicable research on relevant conditions, components, and patient populations. In the past, research has been successfully applied to practice, sometimes producing substantial changes. Examples include clinically applicable research that has assessed treatment effectiveness, altered clinical patient interaction, led to the development of new components and technologies, and challenged or changed long-standing clinical opinion. Despite past successes, obstacles remain in the application of research to practice. Practitioners have stated a desire for research and have identified a list of research needs but lack the training or resources necessary to conduct the research. A gulf also exists between the perceived research needs and the clinically applicable research that is being produced, possibly because of the broad nature of those needs.

Key words: clinical decision-making, clinically applicable research, evidence-based practice, literature review, orthotics, patient care, prosthetics, rehabilitation, research, research needs.

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