PhysioGuru Blog

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In the previous articles of the research series, I delved into the issues of choosing a research topic, formulating research questions, undertaking literature reviews as well as choosing research design. As you will note, the focus was on ‘How’ to do research and ‘what’ to research. Much like general medical and surgical research, physiotherapy research in the 20th century was also driven by focus on objective designs such as RCTs and therefore rarely discussed the underlying philosophical assumptions related to research. This article is aimed at highlighting the need for researchers to understand the basic philosophical issues which impact on the research design and conduct and to discuss the four prevalent paradigms

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There is a body of literature about research designs which focus on the methods to be used, nuances, traditions, authority, experts, paradigms, or schools of thought related to each method. This all makes it sound so complex?  As a new researcher, the question in our minds is - what design should I choose for successful completion of my dissertation? The short and clear answer to this question is -the research design should follow from and be able to answer the research question. Through this article, I aim to present a brief decision making guide for students to make it easy for them to choose a research design which will help them answer their research question and to finish their dissertation on time.

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In the Getting started with research, I discussed means of getting started in research, choosing a research area and development of a research question. This leads the research student on to the development of a research proposal, however, before the final research proposal can be developed and presented, it is imperative that the previous literature in the area is scoped and evaluated to identify the need for the proposed study and establish its context in the specific research area. In this article, I will discuss means of undertaking and presenting a literature review. While the focus of the article is presenting the literature review for dissertation purposes, I will also touch upon disseminating review in academic journals.

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The word ‘research’ has a certain mystique about it. To most of the people outside the research community, it represents an activity that is exclusive to an elite group of scientists. The perception of a researcher is one detached from the outer world, isolated in his laboratory or scholarly library. This was certainly the image in my mind as I embarked on my physiotherapy career. Over the years, this has not only been dispelled, I am now able to introduce myself to general public as a researcher. So in the next few articles in this series, I will aim to unravel some of the myths about research as well as focus on practical research methods. 

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Rehabilitation adherence is an outcome of a complex interaction of physical, social, therapeutic and psychological elements. This second article, based on the findings of my doctoral research, highlights the role of social support and other social influences as a determinant of rehabilitation adherence.

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The Mulligan Concept is one of the commonly used manual therapy techniques in management of musculoskeletal conditions. Pioneered by Brian Mulligan in the 1970's, it is based on Kaltenborn's concept of restoring the accessory component of physiological joint movement. Its been over 12 years since I underwent training in Mulligan Concept. In this article, I first review the basic principles of the concept and then later look at some of the literature around the effectiveness of Mulligan Concept. 

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Poor rehabilitation adherence may lead to sub-optimal treatment outcomes, reduced clinic efficiency and increased cost of care. But despite this knowledge, research indicates that attendance at physiotherapy departments is within 54%-94% and can be as low as 40%. Several studies confirm that adherence to a clinic-based exercise protocol is often around the 50% mark and may be particularly poor for unsupervised home exercise programs.

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Low back pain is a major health problem around the world which accounts for considerable socioeconomic and healthcare burden. The life time incidence of LBP has been reported between 60-80% (Twomey 2000; O’Sullivan 2005) and out of these incidents in about 80-90% cases pain subsides within first 2-3 months and rest of the patients (around 10-20%) develop chronic pain syndromes (Carey et al 2000). Chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients comprises 73-77% of all the patients with lower back pain disorders. In about 85% of these patients the exact cause and diagnosis is still elusive (Main and Watson 1999) and classified as non specific chronic lower back pain (NSCLBP) (Waddell 2004).

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Introduction: Shoulder pain along with subsequent restriction of movement is a common clinical presentation in both the sporting and general populations.Compromised shoulder movement due to pain, stiffness or weakness can cause substantial disability and affect a person’s ability to carry out daily activities and work.One year prevalence of shoulder pain has been reported between 5% and 47% . Conditions that can contribute to the clinical picture of a painful stiff shoulder (PSS) include calcific tendinitis (acute & chronic), non calcific tendinitis of the rotator cuff (acute & chronic), bicipital tenosynovitis, arthrosis of the glenohumeral or the acromioclavicular joint, tear of the rotator cuff, sprain of rotator cuff & synovitis .

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Introduction – Musculoskeletal physiotherapy is a specialist area of professional physiotherapy practice concerned with the assessment, diagnosis and management of the musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. The main aims of musculoskeletal physiotherapy are to reduce pain, maintain/regain joint movement, and maximize function and health-related quality of life without adverse effects, enabling people to cope better with ill health.

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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease - disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain, peripheral arterial disease – disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs, rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria, congenital heart disease - malformations of heart structure existing at birth deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs.

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There is always a bit of initial resistance. Always. Any idea or change is always resisted at first. People like routine in their lives and we all know the property of inertia in matter. That equally applies to individuals as well. There are some great examples of scepticism, resistance and inertia against products we now take for granted in our life.

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