The calm before the storm

Since my last blog I have been making steady progress. I have written up my pilot study, almost completed my lit review and even started on my materials and methods chapter. But the biggest and most exciting thing is that with still around a week to go I have managed to convince 19 (!) people to participate in my study. This is excellent progress considering its a bit of a pain to complete, and there have been a few difficulties on the way. . .But I'm taking all feedback as a good thing, it means more to write about in the discussion :)

So I thought I would perhaps give you a little snippet into the lit review, I hope you find it enlightening, but just a small bit about what these outcome measure actually are and how it can help us in clinical practice. . . .

Outcome measures

An outcome measure is a tool which can be used assess a specific area of interest, for example the ability of a subject, the movement available at a joint or the forces obtained from a limb on force plates (Cook, 2007). It can be employed several times throughout recovery to establish whether there are consistent improvements or if progress has plateaued. It should be easy to carry out and feasible to complete within a busy environment (Hammond, 2000). Unfortunately all too often the type of information that is important to physiotherapists, such as functional ability and subjective information from the patient, or in the case of the dog, the owner, is subjective. Therefore it is often difficult to record without time consuming note recoding’s. This leads to the necessity for a measure that can define the subjective information that we record (Hammond, 2000).

Furthermore the use of validated outcome measures is essential to develop Level one evidence (Cook, 2006). Level one evidence is where at least one randomised controlled trail (RTC) with proper randomization is employed (Burns et al, 2011) and include an outcome measure that is applicable to time frame, species and definition of success (Cook, 2006). The importance of using outcome measures within evidence based practice in veterinary practice is becoming more recognised (Schilz et al, 2006). Evidence based practice involves the use of the best available clinical evidence from systematic research (Sackett, 1996). With the recent development of the Canine Orthopaedic Index there is a certain shift towards veterinary medicine becoming more evidence based (Brown, 2014). This ensures an improved quality of care for the patient by using the best available evidence to inform your practice (Burns et al, 2011)

Thrilling stuff I know! But at the end of the day if we can prove that our interventions are working then our services are more likely to be employed and the dogs and horses in our care will reap the benefits!

So why is it the calm before the storm? Well. . . once I have the results (the closing date s the 11th May) I will have to analyse said results (a prospect I am not looking forward too!) I then need to write a discussion, conclusion and basically dot the i's cross the t's etc, but will only have one month left to do it. . . .aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh! So I best get on, I kinda wish it was raining!

Thanks for reading,


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