clinical research

The Importance of Language

Apologies for not blogging for so long but I am back with a few more perspectives on physiotherapy. Following my first blog on concepts and the importance of their clarity, I thought that I would reflect on the meaning and perception of words from both the clinicians’ and patients’ viewpoints, specifically the words used to convey information to patients with low back pain (LBP).

Did you know that it may take just 39 milliseconds to form a first impression of somebody? (Bar, Neta and Linz, 2006) A bad first impression may take some time to change and communication affects every clinical encounter (Roberts et al, 2013)– definitely worth pondering! (more…)


Tensions and Advances in EBP

Firstly, I would like to thank Roger Kerry, Associate Professor at Nottingham University (@RogerKerry1) for the inspiration for this post whose content has been derived from his and his colleagues’ work.

I would like to explore what guides our (physiotherapists’) decision-making in the context of understanding concepts.  One part of our decision-making processes usually comes from some sort of evidence.  Evidence is based upon the testing of a hypothesis which in itself is grounded in theory or a concept.  If we have difficulty in clarifying the underlying concept how can we substantiate a sound hypothesis?  If we can not substantiate a sound hypothesis, how can we substantiate evidence? (more…)

Understanding Concepts

Have you ever had the difficult experience of conveying an idea, notion or concept to someone? This may be a challenge in itself to a patient but to colleagues in the same profession who are talking about the same thing it can still be tough. You only have to experience a clinical debate online on twitter to get a sense of this using only 140 characters. Understanding the context, frame of reference and technical language are all exaggerated on this platform but it can be highly compelling and potentially misinforming! If all of this occurs in professional discourse, what happens in clinical research? If physiotherapists value clinical research highly as a form of evidence in evidence based practice (EBP) then is there a risk of exploring or evaluating something that is inaccurate in reference to the focus of the study? Or believing that it is indeed correct and then perhaps misinforming clinicians who then use this ‘evidence’ in a clinical setting inappropriately or out of context?

What I am talking about is concepts and the understanding of them. It is not only the use of language that needs consideration but the basis of understanding the phenomenon that the concept exists within. This may step into a philosophical arena but has to be acknowledged in its deeper understanding. (more…)