Research. It’s the core of success. In our clinic, we pride ourselves on evidence based practice. But what does that really mean to the patient? Evidence based practice combines three things: clinical experience; research; and patient preference or values. So how do the articles we read from the research that’s done in universities filter down to affect our actual patient care?
One way we use research is to apply what we read to inform our thinking.
For an example, the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Therapy published this article that looks at using the drop vertical jump task as a way to predict an ACL injury. What we learn is that this task isn’t a good indicator of predicting a possible injury. So many variables are involved in athletic injuries that it is very difficult to predict an injury from just one factor.
However, we also learn that increasing the cognitive demand on an athlete when performing the vertical drop jump task, makes the activity more difficult – and therefore, likely increases an athlete’s risk of injury. While this isn’t a perfect simulation of what might be happening on a soccer field or basketball court, it can help guide our rehabilitation of patients.
The result? We’re adding increased cognitive demands in the rehab process for our athlete patients before returning to sport.
Just another example of how research informs on how we care for our patients, through evidence based practice, in the “real world.”