Research isn’t just for researchers!

Feb 20, 2013
Tagged with: Research isn’t just for researchers!



The other day I was hanging out with one of our physical therapists who does wheelchair assessments and fittings.

We were showing a woman who uses a wheelchair what her behind looks like on a pressure map and just how far she needs to tilt to one side or forward to get real pressure relief. As we were discussing this, the therapist said “I have a paper that says you need to do this for at least 2 minutes to get all the blood flow back.” Well I just about did a happy dance to hear her supporting her advice to her patient with research! Now I’m not trying to knock therapists at all, the majority of their work is evidence-based practice, however I rarely hear the evidence being quoted directly to a patient.

This got me thinking, do patients find it helpful to hear the results of research? Here on the NCHPAD website there is a whole section devoted to it, but I wonder how well it is used by non-researchers. As a researcher, I don’t produce a very tangible product, but I do have a product to share. So the question that I have to ask is: Are we as researchers doing our part to make sure that the “consumer” is receiving our product? I’m not sure that we are, and I’m also not sure how to best approach the problem. I think that NCHPAD does a great job with the newsletter to highlight current research, but I think that someone with a disability has just as much of a right to search for and obtain reliable information about research that is important to them as a researcher does.

How do you think researchers and clinicians can do a better job informing people with disabilities about research that is relevant to them? I’d love to hear your thoughts!thinking[1]


Author: Susan Silverman