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Prosthet Orthot Int. 2013 Jun;37(3):203-11. doi: 10.1177/0309364612459541. Epub 2012 Oct 12.

Reconsidering evidence-based practice in prosthetic rehabilitation: a shared enterprise.

Author information

1
1Centre for Rehabilitation, University Medical Centre Groningen, Haren, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A divide is experienced between producers and users of evidence in prosthetic rehabilitation.

OBJECTIVE:

To discuss the complexity inherent in establishing evidence-based practice in a prosthetic rehabilitation team illustrated by the case of prosthetic prescription for elderly dysvascular transfemoral amputee patients.

STUDY DESIGN:

A qualitative research design was used, in which data from multiple sources was triangulated to extract themes for discussion.

METHODS:

This discussion paper draws on empirical material gathered by individual and focus-group interviews with members of a prosthetic rehabilitation team, information on technological advancements presented on websites of orthopaedic industry, guidelines and literature study.

RESULTS:

A prosthetic rehabilitation team needs to deal with lack of evidence, contradictory results, various classification systems, diverging interests of different stakeholders and many modifying factors, and all of this in a continuous technological changing environment. Integrating research designs with different strengths but not sharing the same biases may help researchers to deal with the multimorbidity and multifaceted disability of the target group. Articulating clinical knowledge, patients' needs and values in a systematic way provides depth, detail, nuance and context for evidence-based practice issues in prosthetic rehabilitation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Reconsidering the relationship between evidence, technology and rehabilitation practice is an imperative shared enterprise for clinicians and researchers. Scientific, clinical and patient-related knowledge are seen as important knowledge practices that should inform and strengthen each other.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

This discussion paper puts the academic clinical debate on evidence-based practice in prosthetics and orthotics in another light. By demonstrating the complexities surrounding evidence-based practice, it is argued and illustrated how both researchers and clinicians can contribute to optimal patient care in which evidence, technology and rehabilitation practice are integrated.

KEYWORDS:

Evidence-based practice; artificial limbs; evidence-based medicine; evidence-informed practice

PMID:
23064358
DOI:
10.1177/0309364612459541
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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