This blog was created to keep healthcare professionals, researchers, methodologists, and patients up to date with the latest primary care research. For more information about the Research Institute, visit our website;

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Allied Health Professionals working hard to keep Clinical Practice Evidence Based

Written by  Treena Larkin  | @PCSciences | | Published Thursday 14th September 2017

"Linking research to clinical practice"

Every four months, a group of Allied Health Professionals get together to form the NHS Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership Trust (SSOTP) 'Evidence-Based Practice' (EBP) group. The group is made up of clinicians working within musculoskeletal healthcare, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and extended-scope podiatrists who have joined forces with musculoskeletal researchers and health librarians to answer clinically generated questions and get research implemented into practice.

The group has been meeting for the past two years, and is led by Treena Larkin (Physiotherapy Research Facilitator) and Kay Stevenson (Consultant Physiotherapist). Here the team assess literature, providing knowledge and skills to interpret the applicability of research papers to clinical practice within the specific area. 

The group are actually a 'hub and spoke' model of the larger 'CAT' group, based at the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences at Keele University, which has been running for 14 years. 

Members of the SSOTP Musculoskeletal Evidence Based Practice Group  

Over the years, the team has had a great impact on providing commissioners, GPs, clinicians with evidence based practice, and the need for this support is ever increasing. With the support of Primary Care managers, the group is able to evaluate and adapt when the possibility of change within clinical practice is indicated. 

The group is supported by managers within a primary care setting, which means that when the possibility of change within clinical practice is indicated, the team can evaluate and adapt where necessary. 

The need for this knowledge is growing more than ever, as commissioners, GPs and clinicians work hard to provide the patient with evidenced based practice. 

The work that the group does is having a big impact on health care professionals on a number of levels for example; 

Physiotherapist feedback

"My participation in our CAT group has developed my research appraising skills and given me more confidence to draw more accurate decisions from research articles. The group gives me the time to consider questions that develop clinically and help me justify treatment options."

Pain Management Team feedback 

Our involvement has enabled us to formulate relevant questions which inform best practice for our patients. The group is motivational and reflective with members who have a variety of clinical backgrounds thus contributing to lively discussions. 

EBP Podiatrist 

Being part of this local group helps me to think outside the box. Being in front of patients all the time, making diagnoses, working out the best treatment pathway, only comes from research like this and experience. I am able to liaise and with colleagues and share best practice. This has really developed my skills and made me more confident in critical appraisal, to keep up-to-date in research and to not be afraid to question. 

The group were awarded the British Society of Rheumatology Award for Outstanding Clinical Practice in 2016, and have also had their work presented at the World Congress of Physical Therapy (July 2017) and Physiotherapy UK later this year. 

If you would like to find out more about the group, or would like to take part, then please contact Treena Larkin by email; More information about forming evidence-based practice groups can also be found on our website;

1 comment:

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