Understanding Research-Based Therapy

“Research” defined:

Therapy programs.

In this site a table has been provided listing programs and the type of research each program lists publicly through their site or printed material.

Research evidence is sometimes difficult for the average person to find. Three places you can find research articles are:

What is Evidence Based Practice?

This is a popular term used right now in both medical and educational fields. It is often misunderstood only to mean that a program or treatment is based on research evidence. There are three components combined in evidence-based practice (EBP):

  • The best available research evidence
  • The best available evidence gathered from the clinician’s own experience and knowledge
  • The best available evidence of the patient’s preferences and values

What is a Peer-Reviewed Journal Article?

Peer-reviewed journal articles are studies that have been reviewed and critiqued by experts in the field prior to publication. Publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal is considered the highest quality and most respected research within a field of study.

What is a Poster Presentation?

Researchers may present the findings of their study on a poster. The posters may be shown at regional or national conferences. Some conferences may display “juried” posters in which the posters are submitted to a review panel in advance and selected on the basis of merit. Therefore, even poster presentations may demonstrate different levels of evidence and merit.

What is a Case Study? What is a Group Study? Which is Better?

A case study is a systematic examination of a person or a small group of people with similar characteristics. The events or characteristics are analyzed. They are often used to determine if a patient improves when a specific treatment is used. Since case studies are usually observational, and not controlled, they are not the most reliable source of evidence for determining if a treatment is effective. They can show if the patient improved, but they cannot be used as proof that a patient improved solely as a result of the treatment. The patient might have improved with or without the treatment. Case studies are a good basis for further research and are often used to present unique and unusual patients.

Generally, a group study is a controlled, experimental study. In this type of study, there is a “control group” and one or more groups in which an experiment (or variable) is applied. Since the variables are precisely controlled, cause and effect relationships can be measured. This is thought to be the gold standard in research methods. When an experiment is repeated by other researchers it is considered stronger evidence. Over time, a body or research with consistent results with many people in many places provides the strongest evidence.

Different research design methods are necessary to answer different research questions, however, the controlled, experimental group study, published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal is generally considered the highest level of research evidence in the field of study.

See Also:

Finding the Right Treatment

What Should I be Aware of?

Programs in the DFW Area

Definitions of Child Language Disorders