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A qualitative study examining methods of accessing and identifying research relevant to clinical practice among rehabilitation clinicians

Authors Patel D, Koehmstedt C, Jones R, Coffey NT, Cai X, Garfinkel S, Shaewitz DM, Weinstein AA

Received 12 July 2017

Accepted for publication 5 October 2017

Published 5 December 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 429—435


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Drasti Patel,1 Christine Koehmstedt,1 Rebecca Jones,1 Nathan T Coffey,1 Xinsheng Cai,2 Steven Garfinkel,2 Dahlia M Shaewitz,2 Ali A Weinstein1

1Center for Study of Chronic Illness and Disability, College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, 2American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC, USA

Purpose: Research examining the utilization of evidence-based practice (EBP) specifically among rehabilitation clinicians is limited. The objective of this study was to examine how various rehabilitative clinicians including physical therapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation counselors, and physiatrists are gaining access to literature and whether they are able to implement the available research into practice.
Methods: A total of 21 total clinicians were interviewed via telephone. Using NVivo, a qualitative analysis of the responses was performed.
Results: There were similarities found with respect to the information-seeking behaviors and translation of research across the different clinician types. Lack of time was reported to be a barrier for both access to literature and implementation of research across all clinician types. The majority of clinicians who reported having difficulty with utilizing the published literature indicated that the literature was not applicable to their practice, the research was not specific enough to be put into practice, or the research found was too outdated to be relevant. In addition, having a supportive work environment aided in the search and utilization of research through providing resources central to assisting clinicians in gaining access to health information.
Conclusion: Our study identified several barriers that affect EBP for rehabilitation clinicians. The findings suggest the need for researchers to ensure that their work is applicable and specific to clinical practice for implementation to occur.

Keywords: health information, information behavior, knowledge utilization, research access

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