Clinical Translation of Research

Written by William Riddick

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An article published in the December 2016 Physical Therapy Journal discusses a critical element to the progress of physical therapy practice. The article, titled “Education Research in Physical Therapy: Visions of the Possible” by Jensen et. al. brings to light how education is essential to clinical practice. As rehabilitation professionals look to advance their clinical practice, evidence based research offers the necessary information and tools. However, the body of evidence that is being developed is all too often left to reside in the research journals, never finding its way into clinics. 

The lack of clinical translation of research has been attributed to both barriers to individual access and limited inclusion of research in educational programs.¹’²’³ While many individual barriers are difficult to overcome (such as time, access, and applicability²’³) educational programs are in a unique position to translate research into clinical practice. Many physical therapists are required by state practice acts to pursue continuing education, making this is a key area to target for intervention. 

 
  Figure 4 from Jensen et. al.¹

Figure 4 from Jensen et. al.¹

"The integration of research, education, and clinical practice is critical to the survival of the profession, and education is an essential link to this integration."
 

Mission Gait, a charitable organization aimed to perform groundbreaking clinical research, develop professional education models, and empower rehabilitation professionals in the treatment and management of patients with gait disabilities, aims to improve clinical translation of research through education. It is our goal to assist in the building of this missing link from research to clinical practice. We seek to provide a continuing education course series and a gait sub-specialty in order to bring up-to-date research to clinicians in a form that breaks down individual barriers and brings evidence-based practice into the clinic.

  1. Jensen, G. M., T. Nordstrom, R. L. Segal, C. Mccallum, C. Graham, and B. Greenfield. "Education Research in Physical Therapy: Visions of the Possible." Physical Therapy 96, no. 12 (December 16, 2016): 1874-884. doi:10.2522/ptj.20160159.
  2. Park, Kyungyeon, Boram Choi, and Dongwook Han. "Clinical physical therapists research activity reality and barriers to their utilizing research findings." Journal of Physical Therapy Science 27, no. 7 (July 22, 2015): 2091-095. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.2091.
  3. Salbach, N. M., S. B. Jaglal, N. Korner-Bitensky, S. Rappolt, and D. Davis. "Practitioner and Organizational Barriers to Evidence-based Practice of Physical Therapists for People With Stroke." Physical Therapy 87, no. 10 (October 07, 2007): 1284-303. doi:10.2522/ptj.20070040.