Using Systematic Reviews and Practice Guidelines: A How-To Guide for Clinicians Systematic reviews of research evidence and practice guidelines are becoming increasingly available. These documents can be very helpful to speech-language pathologists (SLPs) by providing efficient access to information that might be spread across a large number of published studies. This article provides SLPs with some guidance for using systematic ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2007
Using Systematic Reviews and Practice Guidelines: A How-To Guide for Clinicians
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carolyn R. Baylor
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington
  • Kathryn M. Yorkston
    Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2007
Using Systematic Reviews and Practice Guidelines: A How-To Guide for Clinicians
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2007, Vol. 17, 6-10. doi:10.1044/nnsld17.1.6
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2007, Vol. 17, 6-10. doi:10.1044/nnsld17.1.6
Systematic reviews of research evidence and practice guidelines are becoming increasingly available. These documents can be very helpful to speech-language pathologists (SLPs) by providing efficient access to information that might be spread across a large number of published studies. This article provides SLPs with some guidance for using systematic reviews and practice guidelines in clinical practice.
Many SLPs are enthusiastic about evidence-based practice (EBP) and the potential benefits that can stem from combining the best available research evidence with clinical expertise and client preferences to guide treatment programs. Despite these positive attitudes, implementation of EBP principles is not widespread. Many SLPs continue to rely more on their own clinical expertise or the opinions of colleagues than on published research when making treatment decisions (Zipoli & Kennedy, 2005). There might be many barriers facing SLPs who attempt to implement EBP practices. These barriers might include inadequate access to online databases for efficient literature searching; lack of training in appraising research; lack of confidence in their existing skills for appraising research; or even lack of extensive research available to review in particular content areas (Worrall & Bennett, 2001; Zipoli & Kennedy). However, the greatest barrier reported by SLPs is the lack of time needed to locate and review the published studies relevant to their work (Zipoli & Kennedy).
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