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					Too many research questions, not enough time - models for improving the quantity
and quality of research by combined clinician-researchers in physiotherapy

Anne E Holland1,2, Mark R Elkins3

(1) La Trobe University, Melbourne; (2) Alfred Health, Melbourne; (3) Royal Prince
Alfred Hospital, Sydney

Many physiotherapists would like to undertake clinical research in order to answer
important clinical questions and broaden their career options. However new clinical
researchers face substantial barriers including insufficient time, inadequate funding
and lack of a well-defined career path. A growing number of physiotherapists
successfully combine research and clinical practice, giving rise to new models for
physiotherapy career paths and better opportunities for clinicians to participate in
research. Getting started as a clinician-researcher requires a good research question, a
supportive and experienced team, persistence and outstanding time management. It is
widely accepted that having a carefully selected mentor is important for beginning
researchers, however to date these relationships have not been widespread in
physiotherapy. Furthermore, the limited time, funding and mentorship available to
most clinician-researchers can reduce the quality of the research they conduct. In
particular, blinding is often not used. We must find innovative strategies to create the
time and resources needed to conduct high quality research projects. Several models
will be presented that illustrate novel and successful strategies used by clinician-
researchers to deal with these limitations. For trial quality, novel approaches to
blinding in clinical trials will be used as an example.

				
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posted:4/26/2010
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