Posts in this category will be concerned with the process of research rather than the results of research

Rehabilitation research news

Today, 18th July 2021, the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), one of the major health research funding bodies in the UK announced £19.6M had been allocated to research into the late effects of Covid-19 infection (here), commonly known as Long Covid. This is in addition to £18.5 million allocated in February (here), funding …

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Goal attainment scaling.

One Friday 2nd July 2021 (at 05.00 hrs) I took part in a debate organised by Professor Barbara Wilson and hosted, virtually, in Melbourne, Australia. The debate concerned the use of goal attainment scaling (GAS). Two speakers supported its use clinically, in audit, and in research and two speakers opposed its use. At the outset …

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Exemplary paper

The published paper featured in this post illustrates many features of a good rehabilitation research paper. (A shame it was not published in a rehabilitation journal!) The blog is categorised as Education and Training, because the paper is useful as an example, and could generate discussion. The paper, available here, concerns the pain and hand …

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Predicting benefit?

As editor of Clinical Rehabilitation, I see a small stream of studies that attempt to predict who will benefit from a rehabilitation intervention. Terms used include ‘responder analysis’, which assumes that a person who ‘responds’ can be identified and then their characteristics used to select patients for treatment. Separately managers and commissioners want selection criteria, …

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Randomised Comparison Trials

A recently published paper discusses placebos used in randomised controlled trials, referring to the placebo medication as “the Unknown Variable in a Controlled Trial”. The short but important paper is worth reading. It made me reflect on the nature of the control in rehabilitation trials – sometimes even referred to as a placebo by the …

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Learning from failure

Designing and completing a large, well-designed randomised study is hard work. It must be very depressing when the result is negative – your programme of rehabilitation did not have any measurable effect. It happens. But we should not despair, and we should learn, and profit from failure. (The studies are here and here.) The first …

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Loneliness – a key outcome?

Of course, the title should be “Preventing loneliness“, because loneliness is a bad outcome. Rehabilitation’s goal has always been to ‘improve quality of life’, but that is difficult to quantify not least because, when in a situation, people may change their opinion (a phenomenon termed ‘response recalibration’ to make it sound better!). A second oft-stated …

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Systematic reviews – reviewed

Systematic reviews, with or without meta-analysis are attractive. They appear to offer much more secure answers, by taking ‘the totality of published evidence’. They can be undertaken without major financial outlay, although they may need much time from reviewers. They attract readers to a journal. They are now often required as evidence of an unmet …

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Measuring activity over time

Whatever the cause, many people with a long-term disability move less than other people of a similar age. Short-term measurement with accelerometers can measure this, but it is a snap-shot and daily fluctuations will lead to difficulties in interpretation. In a study on 56 (reducing to 48 over 30 months) people with multiple sclerosis, activity …

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