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Turning a clinical problem into a research question (invited presentation)

Guihan ML. Turning a clinical problem into a research question (invited presentation). Paper presented at: American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Psychologists and Social Workers Annual Conference; 2005 Sep 1; Las Vegas, NV.


In this age of evidence based practice, it is becoming increasingly important for clinicians to be able to provide research that supports their clinical interventions. This can be a difficult endeavor, though, as researchers are often unaware of the issues and interventions that are important to clinicians. The result is a lack of empirically validated clinical interventions provided to individuals with Spinal Cord Injury. What is too often missing is a reciprocal relationship between research and practice that informs and enriches both. Reciprocal partnerships among researchers and clinicians can help identify and address important research questions, provide urgently needed data for administrators and policy makers, and positively influence clinical practice. Clinicians are, in many ways, well suited to conduct research, but may lack appropriate training and support. The workshop is designed to facilitate the development of new clinical research by individuals who treat people with SCI by reducing the apprehensions associated with research. This will be accomplished through providing information, discussion, examples of ongoing research projects, and practice translating clinical issues into research questions. Common research problems will be discussed and their solutions identified. Practical steps to for initiating and developing good clinical research projects will be articulated. The workshop will provide participants with information regarding how to think about, plan and conduct research, including developing a research question, choosing the appropriate study design, determining the best research setting or population, conducting a pilot studies, choosing the right analytic techniques, addressing HIPAA and IRB concerns, recruiting participants, interpreting your data, and disseminating your results. Examples of projects representing qualitative, quantitative, single-subject design, and interventional studies will be presented. Objectives1. Participants will be able to identify clinical issues that they may want to look at more objectively2. Participants will increase awareness of common research problems and their solutions3. Participants will be able to discuss the types of research methodology that may be appropriate 4. Participants will be better able to identify colleagues/collaborators with whom to develop their research design or conduct statistical analyses.

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