One thing that has become completely apparent through social media is that there seems to be a great divide amongst researchers and clinicians.
There are the people that swear if one more person asks them to present the article providing the research to the technique they are recommending……….
The truth is we live in a world of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). Somewhere along the line, EBP became peer-reviewed research articles published in a relevant journal.
ASHA defines EBP as:
Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)
The goal of EBP is the integration of: (a) clinical expertise/expert opinion, (b) external scientific evidence, and (c) client/patient/caregiver perspectives to provide high-quality services reflecting the interests, values, needs, and choices of the individuals we serve. Conceptually, the trilateral principles forming the bases for EBP can be represented through a simple figure: Read more about EBP.
We do need published research to support what we do. The trouble is, techniques we try using our general knowledge and clinical expertise may be something we try during a session. It may be something that comes to us as we sit and work with a patient or client, however we really don’t have the time to sit and wait for the research to be funded, proposed, completed, peer reviewed and published.
Listening to our patients can be very revealing in what works and doesn’t work for them. Not sitting and listening to the patient and saying, “Well, the research said this would work.” It may not work for the particular patient.
Honing in on our clinical skills is pertinent to our profession. You may read an article and think, that might work for my patient if I change x, y, and or z factor.
Research is a part of EBP. The studies are great to have and the studies definitely support what we do as a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). I, personally, deeply admire those that complete research in our field.
One obstacle I find with research is that I can’t always exactly replicate a study. Does that mean, if I use a substitution that I’m not following the peer-reviewed published research?
We need to let research guide us in our decision-making skills when assessing and formulating that ever-evolving treatment plan for a patient.
We also need to use our hard-earned clinical skills that we all worked so hard to earn!