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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Charles R. Wolfe, III, PT, DPT, DAC. (U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, Inc.)
Description: This is an extensive update of a book on the fundamental research methods vital to the evidence appraisal process as applied to the patient/client management model in physical therapy practice. It is the only book that integrates fundamental research methods into clinical practice. The previous edition was published in 2010.
Purpose: The author's stated goal is to teach the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate evidence and apply these to physical therapist practice. With the current emphasis on evidence-based practice throughout healthcare, a book of this scope is relevant and important for novice and experienced clinicians. The author has filled a critical void in the market with this book, and with the extensive revisions and updates to this edition, it continues to remain current and relevant.
Audience: Its format makes this book equally beneficial for students and experienced clinicians. It follows a logical progression, starting with a definition of the principles of evidence-based practice, followed by a description of features that enhance or diminish the qualities of a research study. Readers are then educated on how to determine whether evidence is useful to them and guided through the process of applying evidence to their own practice patterns. Experienced clinicians who may be less conversant with evidence-based practice can easily learn the material. The author has spent her 25-year career as a clinician, educator, and administrator. More recently she founded a company helping rehabilitation practices to demonstrate their value to consumers, referral sources, and payers by leveraging their patient and practice data. She also is a program director for a university-based health policy certificate program.
Features: The 19 chapters are grouped into four separate sections on principles of evidence-based physical therapist practice; elements of evidence; appraising evidence; and evidence in practice. Each chapter begins with clearly stated learning objectives, essential terminology, and with 6-10 concluding questions strongly correlated to the learning objectives. Tables and figures in a two-color format highlight important concepts. Chapters 9 and 10 exemplify the author's ability to simplify confusing and complex concepts, giving readers an appreciation of statistical significance balanced against clinical relevance. The book also includes an access code to an accompanying website with additional learning/review resources including flashcards, an interactive glossary, practice quizzes, web links, and screenshots of electronic databases from chapters 3 and 19. All are excellent supplements to the book.
Assessment: This excellent book has particular relevance to the evolving profession of physical therapy and is a timely update of the previous edition. It is an excellent adjunct to other established books, such as Evidence-Based Medicine: How to Practice and Teach It, 4th edition, Straus et al. (Elsevier, 2011), Critical Evaluation of Research in Physical Rehabilitation: Towards Evidence-Based Practice, Helewa and Walker (Saunders, 2000), and Foundations of Clinical Research: Applications to Practice, Portney and Watkins (Prentice Hall, 2008).