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APPRAISING THE EVIDENCE 3.1 KEY QUESTIONS TO DETERMINE AN INTERVENTION RESEARCH STUDY’S APPLICABILITY and QUALITY

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QUESTION YES/NO WHERE TO FIND THE INFORMATION COMMENTS AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Question 1: Is the study’s purpose relevant to my clinical question?

_Yes

_No

Introduction (usually at the end) The study should clearly describe its purpose and/or hypothesis. Ideally, the stated purpose will contribute to answering your clinical question.

Question 2: Is the study population applicable to my patient or my clinical question?

A. Does your client or clinical question meet the important inclusion and exclusion criteria of the study?

B. Is the final study sample similar enough to your patient or clinical question to expect results similar to those of the study?

_Yes

_No

_Yes

_No

Results section

The study should provide descriptive statistics about pertinent study population demographics. Ideally, the study population would be relatively similar to your patient with regard to age, gender, problem severity, problem duration, comorbidities, and other sociodemographic and medical factors likely to affect the results of the study.

The study should provide a list of inclusion and exclusion criteria. Ideally, your patient would have characteristics that meet the eligibility criteria or at least be similar enough to the subjects. Remember, you will not find “the perfect study”!

Be sure to check the sample that was actually studied after recruitment. Recruited subjects may not be eligible when tested or interviewed, may drop out of the study, or may be lost to follow-up.

Question 3: Are the intervention and comparison/control groups receiving a clinically realistic intervention?

A. Is the intervention clinically feasible and appropriate to your patient or clinical question?

B. Is the intervention described in enough detail to replicate in your clinical setting?

_Yes

_No

_Yes

_No

Methods (some post-study analysis about the intervention may be found in the Results) The study should clearly describe the treatment regimen provided to all groups. Ideally, the intervention can be reproduced in your clinical setting, and the comparison/control is a realistic contrasting option or well-designed placebo. Consider the quality of the dose, duration, delivery method, setting, and qualifications of the therapists delivering the intervention. Could you implement this treatment in your setting?

Question 4: Are the outcome measures relevant to the clinical question, and were they conducted in a clinically realistic manner?

A. Do the study outcome measures provide the information you need to apply the results to your patient or clinical question?

B. Are the outcome measures likely to demonstrate a benefit your patient has as a goal?

C. Do the outcome measures span the International Classification of Function, Disability and Health (ICF) model?

_Yes

_No

_Yes

_No

_Yes

_No

Methods The study should describe the outcome measures used and the methods used to ensure their reliability and quality. Ideally, the outcome measures should relate to the clinical question and should include measures of quality of life, activity, and body structure ...

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