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Clinical Bottom Lines

Van Sant, Ann F. PT, PhD, FAPTA

Pediatric Physical Therapy: April 2009 - Volume 21 - Issue 1 - p 1
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318197958e


Evidence-based practice (EBP) in pediatric physical therapy is receiving increased attention. In the last issue of Pediatric Physical Therapy, the work of Schreiber et al1 was highlighted for pointing out the barriers to EBP that school system therapists identified. One of those barriers was the need for preparation for critiquing the professional literature. Although this is a major thrust of most professional education programs at present, we have a large cohort of practitioners who are struggling to obtain the skills needed to carefully interpret the research literature that they read related to their areas of practice.

The Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association is quite aware of the need to assist clinicians in moving toward EBP. To that end, among other initiatives, they asked the Editor to consider ways to support their efforts. A small committee of Editorial Board Members took on the challenge of devising a system for the journal to provide Clinical Bottom Lines for articles that appear in Pediatric Physical Therapy. The Board members who took on this task were Doreen Bartlett, Linda Fetters, and Carole Tucker. They have developed a format that will provide a Clinical Bottom Line for research articles. These short interpretive pieces will be coauthored by a clinician and researcher working together. The first Clinical Bottom Line addressing the lead article in this issue “Prediction of Motor and Functional Outcomes in Preterm Infants Assessed at Term” by Snider et al2 appears immediately following the article. Barbara Sargent and Linda Fetters took on this task and produced what we believe will be a very helpful interpretation of the article. We believe this new feature will assist readers in moving the information obtained from current research into their practice. Of course as editor, I would very much like to receive feedback from you, the reader, addressing the usefulness of the Clinical Bottom Line.

As many of you may remember, the journal instituted a feature called the critically appraised topic (CAT), which appears on occasion in the journal. The occasion is dictated by receipt of CAT manuscripts that survey more than one article addressing a clinically relevant question—such as does strengthening within functional tasks lead to improved performance in activities of daily living? As editor, I have been encouraging individuals to submit CATs for review, and Linda Fetters has been serving as the Editorial Board Member overseeing CAT submissions and reviews. We will be continuing the CAT feature in addition to providing Clinical Bottom Lines. The goal is to assist with translating research to practice. I encourage readers to assist with either of these two projects or offer suggestions for additional initiatives that would help achieve this goal. The Editorial Board and I look forward to your feedback.

Ann F. Van Sant, PT, PhD, FAPTA


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1. Schreiber J, Stern P, Marchetti G, et al. School-based pediatric physical therpaists’ perspectives on evidence-based practice. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2008;20:292–302.
2. Snider L, Majnemer A, Mazer B, et al. Prediction of motor and functional outcomes in infants born preterm assessed at term. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2009;21:2–11.
© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.