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Building Intellectual Capacity

Collins, Sean, PT, ScD

Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal: April 2018 - Volume 29 - Issue 2 - p 61–62
doi: 10.1097/CPT.0000000000000084


The editor declares no conflicts of interest.

Building intellectual capacity is perhaps one of the most exciting things we come together for as professionals, clinicians, scholars and students. After all, we are a profession that builds intellectual capacity for the explicit purpose of improving the human condition. While challenging and at times exhausting, it is nonetheless always rewarding.

CSM, and conferences in general, as well as journals, books, papers and projects are all about building intellectual capacity. It is important to avoid a sharp distinction between practice, projects and dissemination in the process of building intellectual capacity. They are integrated and intertwined since the work being done in a project flows from the historical legacy and then flows to the community of scholars in the profession.

This past February the CPTJ publishing team and Editorial Board had the chance to meet while in New Orleans at CSM. In fact, to report on that meeting, the publishing team has graciously granted me a bit of an extension on submitting the editorial so that it could be written after CSM. While you are reading this in April, it was written on February 26th, and I must add that I am late!

The focus of our discussion was the Publisher's Report which reports on the journal from 2017. Based on this report we all seemed to agree that the journal is making progress. As readers, authors and reviewers for the journal (and these are not mutually exclusive, meaning many of you are all 3) you will be happy to hear that the journal's reach is growing.

Institutionally CPTJ is in 48 countries, with over 6900 article views in 2017 on OVID (meaning, not counting individual subscribers and therefore an underestimate of total article views). This number is up from 4255 article views in 2016. The journal website has had 17,219 unique visitors this past year with 4504 return visits. There are 1165 individuals that have elected to subscribe to our electronic table of contents delivery.

We do believe that some of the increased visibility this past year is related to our focus on Social Media, and the work of our new Emerging Media Editor, Dr. Richard Severin. Social Media has driven additional readers to CPTJ, and delivered CPTJ articles and content to more readers. The Podcast achieved over 4000 downloads on iTunes in addition to over 10,000 views from the few episodes posted directly to the journal Facebook page (as I just learned this from the journal Facebook page).

Of course, there would not be something to bring to readers or to draw readers to, without the community of scholars in #cvpPT that is building intellectual capacity by practicing, doing research, presenting at conferences, writing papers and reviewing the work of others in the community. The work we do builds intellectual capacity and this requires sharing information. We live in a time when information abounds. As a community of scholars it is our responsibility to make sure we are putting our trust in communications and publications that hold to tested and proven methods of dissemination and that offer focused dissemination to those that need the information. Consistently, such trust and focus emerges from publications coming from reputable professional societies (such as the CVP Section of the APTA) with reputable publishers (such as Wolters Kluwer/LWW).

The Editorial Board of this journal looks forward to continuing to grow with this community of scholars that is cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy. We look forward to sharing the evidence for practice, improving the knowledge from which we practice, and effectively disseminating this evidence and knowledge through proven modes of dissemination alongside with cutting edge opportunities through social media and internet resources. We don't want to just publish what we think know and what we currently do. We want to publish important, relevant and capacity building knowledge from our community to improve the human condition. That means occasionally publishing papers on topics that some might say, “but we don't do that...” My response, it is because we don't do that that we must consider it.

In addition to our regular work for the journal, as a Board we will be meeting a few times this year to consider what additional steps we can take to reach our long-term goals. We strive with you to see CPTJ become the highest impact journal for physical therapists in cardiovascular and pulmonary practice, exercise, critical care and wellness in the world. In this process we also intend to help develop members of our community through the intentional, fair and thoughtful review process that CPTJ has become known for through its years as a journal.

As we strive to build intellectual capacity as a community of scholars we invite all readers to consider being authors, and once you have authored, to consider being reviewers. To help bring this from talk to action, one of the Editorial Board discussions this year will be on expanding our formats for submission to include additional formats for case studies, special issues, methods and applications, as well an applied physiology format.

Of course, there are consequences to our growing community of scholars building intellectual capacity!

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If you did not notice in the January Issue please make note of this announcement. Starting in January 2019, CSM platform and poster abstracts will not be published in print. They will be published in the Journal, they will be indexed, and include a volume, issue, page and DOI number for citation. However, they will reside online only. This is not a delayed reaction to the trend. It is a thoughtful decision based on the increased volume of research being done and resultant submissions for publication. We need the space in the January issue for publishing research reports, systematic reviews, clinical perspectives, case reports, special issues and clinical practice guidelines. Since beginning in 1990 there are 5 times the number of abstracts to print. Not only does that take 5 times the space, but it signifies 5 times more research being completed in our field. Much of that research will seek publication in a journal that will reach a community of scholars that can use the knowledge that is being disseminated such as the CPTJ.

In addition, as we have started this year we will continue to develop our Social Media dissemination of published abstracts of poster and paper CSM presentations.

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In this April issue of CPTJ we bring you 3 important and high quality original articles. In the systematic review by Shoemaker et al titled “Objective Improvement in Daily Physical Activity in Heart Failure Remains Elusive: A Systematic Review” you learn that exercise interventions used in isolation do not improve daily physical activity in patients with heart failure.1 The authors indicate and outline why further study on psychosocial interventions, with objective outcome measurements, is needed. This is a tremendously important contribution to the literature. It is the PT practice equivalent of a low “red zone” percentage. It is carrying the football within the 20-yard line and then not scoring. The ultimate goal of our interventions with patients with heart failure is lifelong change and improved quality of life, both critically related to daily physical activity, not their exercise capacity. Exercise capacity is simply a means to an end. And as Shoemaker et al point out, that means may be a necessary condition but it is not a sufficient condition to the end.

Frith and Loprinzi2 bring us an original study based on a large sample of individuals from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) study to test the association between physical activity and cognitive function. They nicely demonstrate that “physical activity is favorably associated with executive function among older adults with diabetes, but this association was attenuated after controlling for physical function and chronic illness.”

Katijjahbe et al3 evaluate the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) for the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) when evaluating physical function in patients after cardiac surgery.

In addition to providing an initial estimate of the MCID for SPPB in the early postoperative period this paper identifies the next steps required in this process since nearly half of the participants scored the maximum score at 4 weeks. Meaning that the SPPB may not be sensitive to change later in an individual's recovery because of the ceiling effect.

As always, thank you for allowing me to continue to serve as your Editor-in-Chief, and please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or concerns!

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1. Shoemaker MJ, Tresh T, Hart J, Wood T. Objective improvement in daily physical activity in heart failure remains elusive: A systematic review. Cardiopulm Phys Ther J. 2018;29(2).
2. Frith E, Loprinzi PD. Association between physical activity and cognitive function among a National Sample of Adults with diabetes. Cardiopulm Phys Ther J. 2018;29(2): 1271–1275.
3. Katijjahbe MA, Granger CL, Denehy L, et al. Short physical performance battery can be utilized to evaluate physical function in patients after cardiac surgery. Cardiopulm Phys Ther J.. 2018;29(2).
© 2018 Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section, APTA