Audit in the therapy professions: some constraints on progress.
AIMS: To ascertain views about constraints on the progress of audit experienced by members of four of the therapy professions: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and clinical psychology. METHODS: Interviews in six health service sites with a history of audit in these professions. 62 interviews were held with members of the four professions and 60 with other personnel with relevant involvement. Five main themes emerged as the constraints on progress: resources; expertise; relations between groups; organisational structures; and overall planning of audit activities. RESULTS: Concerns about resources focused on lack of time, insufficient finance, and lack of access to appropriate systems of information technology. Insufficient expertise was identified as a major constraint on progress. Guidance on designing instruments for collection of data was the main concern, but help with writing proposals, specifying and keeping to objectives, analysing data, and writing reports was also required. Although sources of guidance were sometimes available, more commonly this was not the case. Several aspects of relations between groups were reported as constraining the progress of audit. These included support and commitment, choice of audit topics, conflicts between staff, willingness to participate and change practice, and concerns about confidentiality. Organisational structures which constrained audit included weak links between heads of professional services and managers of provider units, the inhibiting effect of change, the weakening of professional coherence when therapists were split across directorates, and the ethos of regarding audit findings as business secrets. Lack of an overall plan for audit meant that while some resources were available, others equally necessary for successful completion of projects were not. CONCLUSION: Members of four of the therapy professions identified a wide range of constraints on the progress of audit. If their commitment to audit is to be maintained these constraints require resolution. It is suggested that such expert advice, but also that these are directed towards the particular needs of the four professions. Moreover, a forum is required within which all those with a stake in therapy audit can acknowledge and resolve the different agendas which they may have in the enterprise. (+info)
Effect of clinical guidelines in nursing, midwifery, and the therapies: a systematic review of evaluations.
BACKGROUND: Although nursing, midwifery, and professions allied to medicine are increasingly using clinical guidelines to reduce inappropriate variations in practice and ensure higher quality care, there have been no rigorous overviews of their effectiveness, 18 evaluations of guidelines were identified that meet Cochrane criteria for scientific rigor. METHODS: Guideline evaluations conducted since 1975 which used a randomised controlled trial, controlled before and after, or interrupted time series design were identified through a combination of database and hand searching. RESULTS: 18 studies met the inclusion criteria. Three studies evaluated guideline dissemination or implementation strategies, nine compared use of a guideline with a no guideline state; six studies examined skill substitution: performance of nurses operating according to a guideline were compared with standard care, generally provided by a physician. Significant changes in the process of care were found in six out of eight studies measuring process and in which guidelines were expected to have a positive impact on performance. In seven of the nine studies measuring outcomes of care, significant differences in favour of the intervention group were found. Skill substitution studies generally supported the hypothesis of no difference between protocol driven by nurses and care by a physician. Only one study included a formal economic evaluation, with equivocal findings. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from the review provide some evidence that care driven by a guideline can be effective in changing the process and outcome of care. However, many studies fell short of the criteria of the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (EPOC) for methodological quality. (+info)
Brandon/Hill selected list of print books and journals in allied health.
This list of 424 books and 77 journals is intended as a selection guide for print literature to be used in a library supporting allied health educational programs or allied health personnel in either an academic or health care setting. Because of the impossibility of covering the large number and wide variety of allied health professions and occupations, the recommended publications are focused primarily on the educational programs listed and recognized by the American Medical Association and other accrediting bodies. Books and journals are categorized by subject; the book list is followed by an author/editor index, and the subject list of journals by an alphabetical title listing. Items suggested for initial purchase (167 books and 31 journals) are indicated by asterisks. To purchase the entire collection of books and journals (2000 subscriptions) would require an expenditure of about $31,970. The cost of only the asterisked items totals $12,515. (+info)
Evaluating the impact of physical renovation, computerization, and use of an inquiry approach in an undergraduate, allied health human anatomy and physiology lab.
This paper describes and evaluates a major renovation of a human anatomy and physiology lab for allied health students. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute award funded an extensive collaboration between faculty involved in teaching the course and faculty with expertise in industrial and furniture design. The resulting physical lab has unique features designed to improve work in groups, student movement, and integration of computers with wet laboratories. The anatomy curriculum was switched from fetal pig dissections to the use of human cadavers, computer animations, and plastic models. An inquiry approach was integrated into the physiology curriculum. Student attitude surveys suggest that the physical and curricular changes resulted in a significant increase in student learning. An experiment designed to specifically test the effect of new vs. old equipment did not support a benefit to new equipment independent of changes in the lab physical environment and curriculum. Because the improvements in student attitude surveys occurred in the physiology but not the anatomy labs, we suggest that at least a portion of the increase is due to the institution of the inquiry approach. (+info)
Brandon/Hill selected list of print books and journals in allied health.
This list of 434 books and 79 journals is intended as a selection guide for print literature to be used in a library supporting allied health educational programs or allied health personnel in either an academic or health care setting. Because of the impossibility of covering the large number of and wide variety of allied health professions and occupations, the recommended publications are focused primarily on the educational programs listed and recognized by the American Medical Association and other accrediting bodies. Books and journals are categorized by subject; the book list is followed by an author/editor index and the subject list of journals by an alphabetical title listing. Items suggested for initial purchase (169 books and 32 journals) are indicated by asterisks. To purchase the entire collection of books and journals (2002 subscriptions) would require an expenditure of about $36,744. The cost of only the asterisked items totals $14,465. (+info)
Coordinating the norms and values of medical research, medical practice and patient worlds-the ethics of evidence based medicine in orphaned fields of medicine.
Evidence based medicine is rightly at the core of current medicine. If patients and society put trust in medical professional competency, and on the basis of that competency delegate all kinds of responsibilities to the medical profession, medical professionals had better make sure their competency is state of the art medical science. What goes for the ethics of clinical trials goes for the ethics of medicine as a whole: anything that is scientifically doubtful is, other things being equal, ethically unacceptable. This particularly applies to so called orphaned fields of medicine, those areas where medical research is weak and diverse, where financial incentives are lacking, and where the evidence regarding the aetiology and treatment of disease is much less clear than in laboratory and hospital based medicine. Examples of such orphaned fields are physiotherapy, psychotherapy, medical psychology, and occupational health, which investigate complex syndromes such as RSI, whiplash, chronic low back pain, and chronic fatigue syndrome. It appears that the primary ethical problem in this context is the lack of attention to the orphaned fields. Although we agree that this issue deserves more attention as a matter of potential injustice, we want to argue that, in order to do justice to the interplay of heterogeneous factors that is so typical of the orphaned fields, other ethical models than justice are required. We propose the coordination model as a window through which to view the important ethical issues which relate to the communication and interaction of scientists, health care workers, and patients. (+info)
Selected list of books and journals in allied health.
This list of 396 books and 77 journals is intended as a selection guide to be used in a library supporting allied health educational programs or allied health personnel in either an academic or health care setting. Due to the necessity of limiting the scope of coverage because of the large number and wide range of allied health professions and occupations, the recommended publications are focused primarily on the twenty-eight programs accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation of the American Medical Association, plus physical therapy, dental allied health, medical secretarial, nutrition, and speech pathology/audiology. Books and journals are categorized by subject; the book list is followed by an author/editor index, and the subject list of journals is followed by an alphabetical title listing. Items suggested for initial purchase (194 books and 31 journals) are indicated by asterisks. To purchase the entire collection of books and journals (1992 subscriptions) would require an expenditure of about $22,800. The cost of only the asterisked items totals $10,850. (+info)
A systematic review of the content of critical appraisal tools.
BACKGROUND: Consumers of research (researchers, administrators, educators and clinicians) frequently use standard critical appraisal tools to evaluate the quality of published research reports. However, there is no consensus regarding the most appropriate critical appraisal tool for allied health research. We summarized the content, intent, construction and psychometric properties of published, currently available critical appraisal tools to identify common elements and their relevance to allied health research. METHODS: A systematic review was undertaken of 121 published critical appraisal tools sourced from 108 papers located on electronic databases and the Internet. The tools were classified according to the study design for which they were intended. Their items were then classified into one of 12 criteria based on their intent. Commonly occurring items were identified. The empirical basis for construction of the tool, the method by which overall quality of the study was established, the psychometric properties of the critical appraisal tools and whether guidelines were provided for their use were also recorded. RESULTS: Eighty-seven percent of critical appraisal tools were specific to a research design, with most tools having been developed for experimental studies. There was considerable variability in items contained in the critical appraisal tools. Twelve percent of available tools were developed using specified empirical research. Forty-nine percent of the critical appraisal tools summarized the quality appraisal into a numeric summary score. Few critical appraisal tools had documented evidence of validity of their items, or reliability of use. Guidelines regarding administration of the tools were provided in 43% of cases. CONCLUSIONS: There was considerable variability in intent, components, construction and psychometric properties of published critical appraisal tools for research reports. There is no "gold standard' critical appraisal tool for any study design, nor is there any widely accepted generic tool that can be applied equally well across study types. No tool was specific to allied health research requirements. Thus interpretation of critical appraisal of research reports currently needs to be considered in light of the properties and intent of the critical appraisal tool chosen for the task. (+info)