Research Consumerism 101: Evaluating External Evidence of Treatment Effectiveness The modern clinician is a research consumer. Rehabilitation of oropharyngeal impairments, and prevention of the adverse outcomes of dysphagia, requires the clinician to select interventions for which evidence of a reasonable likelihood of a successful, important outcome exists. The purpose of this paper is to provide strategies for evaluation of ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2008
Research Consumerism 101: Evaluating External Evidence of Treatment Effectiveness
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James L. Coyle
    Department of Communication Science & Disorders at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2008
Research Consumerism 101: Evaluating External Evidence of Treatment Effectiveness
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), June 2008, Vol. 17, 43-49. doi:10.1044/sasd17.2.43
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), June 2008, Vol. 17, 43-49. doi:10.1044/sasd17.2.43
Abstract

The modern clinician is a research consumer. Rehabilitation of oropharyngeal impairments, and prevention of the adverse outcomes of dysphagia, requires the clinician to select interventions for which evidence of a reasonable likelihood of a successful, important outcome exists. The purpose of this paper is to provide strategies for evaluation of published research regarding treatment of oropharyngeal dysphagia. This article utilizes tutorial and examples to inform and educate practitioners in methods of appraising published research. It provides and encourages the use of methods of efficiently evaluating the validity and clinical importance of published research. Additionally, it discusses the importance of the ethical obligation we, as practitioners, have to use evidence-based treatment selection methods and measurement of patient performance during therapy. The reader is provided with tactics for evaluating treatment studies to establish a study's validity and, thereby, objectively select interventions. The importance of avoiding subjective or unsubstantiated claims and using objective methods of generating empirical clinical evidence is emphasized. The ability to evaluate the quality of research provides clinicians with objective intervention selection as an important, essential component of evidence-based clinical practice.

ASHA Code of Ethics (2003):

Principle I, Rule F: “Individuals shall fully inform the persons they serve of the nature and possible effects of services rendered and products dispensed…” (p. 2)

Principle I, Rule G: “Individuals shall evaluate the effectiveness of services rendered and of products dispensed and shall provide services or dispense products only when benefit can reasonably be expected.” (p. 2)

Principle IV, Rule G: “Individuals shall not provide professional services without exercising independent professional judgment, regardless of referral source or prescription.” (p. 4)

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