Date Added: 19th January 2023
Evidence-based practice is an approach to clinical decision making based on the quality, relevance and consistency of scientific evidence that improves patient outcomes. In essence, it's a science-informed approach to healthcare.
Evidence-informed practice is important in Massage Therapy because it allows practitioners to offer the highest quality of care while contributing towards the provision of patient-centred care. It enables practitioners to work confidently with patients on their health improvement goals.
As a massage therapist, it's essential that we understand the importance of evidence-based practice and evidence-informed practice as well. The following article discusses what evidence-informed practice is and how it can help us to improve the level of care we deliver to our clients.
How do we define Evidence-informed practice?
Evidence-informed practice is a way of practising our profession as remedial massage therapists that is based on research findings, clinical expertise and patient values.
Clinical expertise is used to create unique evidence-based results for each patient, based on the individual needs of the patient.
The clinician must do a thorough assessment of the patient’s personal, social, and clinical context then incorporate or combine this information with the patient’s values and preferences in order to make sound decisions.
Patient Values - A range of biopsychosocial factors may influence your clinical decision making based on patient goals and needs.
Remedial Massage Therapists need to be able to listen to their patients, create a working relationship with them, and involve them in devising a treatment plan that best meets their needs.
Research Evidence - Research is an important part of our profession. It helps us make informed decisions and prevents us from making mistakes by warning us when we can't be sure. The more high quality evidence that supports a therapist's decision, the more confident they can be in their choice.
Let us also take these differences into account.
The evidence-informed approach encourages us to use research while discarding old, false narratives, and suggests that we use a more comprehensive range of research.
Evidence-based practice suggests that we only apply best practices and minimise social interventions. But evidence-informed medicine takes into account the patient's values when making decisions.
As practitioners, how do we evaluate our resources or the sources of our information?
In today's information age, it is important to be able to evaluate information critically. Take into consideration the following: Currency, Authority, Accuracy, Relevance, and Purpose. Let’s break these down.
We’re confident that the more you read about evidence-informed practice the more you'll come to appreciate the importance of it. Evidence-based practice is very much a life-long adventure, and understanding it will have an everlasting effect. Taking a science-informed approach to our work as massage therapists gives us an edge on other practitioners. It allows us to offer our clients the most effective treatment there is in Massage Therapy today. It's just as important for us as it is for patients because what's most important is optimising our client's care and helping them reach their health goals while providing the best care possible.
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