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Research strategies and evidence-based practice in relation to communication disorders

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Abstract

Introduction

To be effective, all professional practices, including speech and language pathology, should be built on a foundation of basic and applied research. Clinicians working in these fields, similar to clinicians in other fields, need to be aware of the validity and reliability of the methods they select while dealing with their patients. Moreover, the current emphasis on evidence-based practice in medicine across all scientific fields emphasizes the importance of understanding the philosophy of science, research strategies, and evidence-based practice. This would aid in bridging the gap between the research and clinical work, thereby, maximizing the therapeutic benefit that the patients gain.

Objectives

The aim of this article is to review some of the facts related to research methodology, research evaluation, and evidence-based practice as well as to highlight the importance of integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external evidence obtained from systematic research.

Recommendations

(a) Research should be considered as an integral part of clinical practice. (b) Keeping the concept of validity, reliability, and evidence-based practice in mind at all times while designing scientific studies. (c) Discussing the project design with an advisor or a group of colleagues to help ensure that validity is maintained at every stage of the process. (d) Correctly forming a research problem, sticking to research ethics while carrying out research work, and closely reviewing the selected literature before as well as during the study. (e) Randomly selecting a representative sample population of adequate size to represent the target population. (f) Identifying variables before starting research, choosing appropriate study designs, and appropriately dealing with missing data and confounding (extraneous) variables.

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Correspondence to Dalia M. Osman.

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Osman, D.M. Research strategies and evidence-based practice in relation to communication disorders. Egypt J Otolaryngol 28, 162–170 (2012). https://doi.org/10.7123/01.EJO.0000417832.14750.32

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.7123/01.EJO.0000417832.14750.32

Keywords

  • evidence-based practice
  • research and communication disorders
  • research methodology
  • research strategies
  • study designs