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Rehabilitation Research Boot Camp: Errors, Fraud, & Outliers

presented by Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA, FAAOMPT

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Chad Cook receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. He also is a research consultant for Hawkins Foundation of the Carolinas. Chad Cook receives royalties from Pearson education, Maitland Australian Physiotherapy Association, AgenceEBP, and is a paid associate editor for JOSPT.

Non-Financial: Chad Cook is a senior associate editor for BJSM and is an editorial board member for J Physiotherapy and JMMT.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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How is it that the peer review system associated with research allows so many papers that are erroneous, fraudulent, or outright incorrect results to be published? Primarily, it’s related to a number of factors. This course provides examples of errors in research interpretation by breaking down examples as 1) fraudulent, 2) not fraudulent but erroneous, 3) markedly outside a normative finding (outlier) or 4) inappropriately translated into a care process, beyond what it was intended. The course gives methods to recognize each of these conditions to better navigate research findings. Evidence based practice requires one’s ability to appropriately assimilate useful research into the care process. Challenges are present when a large percentage of research is not correct.

Meet Your Instructor

Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA, FAAOMPT

Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA, FAAOMPT, is a professor at Duke University and the program director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy division with a Category A appointment in the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He is a clinical researcher, physical therapist, and profession advocate with a long-term history of clinical care excellence and service…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Publication Errors

Chapter one discusses the likelihood that the majority of research published is actually incorrect. The module discusses unintentional and intentional errors, the ethical challenges facing most researchers, and introduces the four parameters of incorrect research: 1) fraudulent, 2) not fraudulent but erroneous, 3) markedly outside a normative finding (outlier) or 4) inappropriately translated into a care process, beyond what it was intended.

2. Fraud in Research

Chapter two discusses several of most high profile fraudulent research activities that have occurred in the last century. This module also discusses the behaviors of fraudulent researchers and the responses associated with journals who originally published the fraudulent work.

3. Research Ethics

Chapter three provides examples of early research participant abuse (willing and unwilling participants) and the consequential internationally driven actions among researchers to assure appropriately behaviors and ethics. The modules discusses human ethics review boards and institutional review boards as well as publications guidelines’ groups that have been created to evaluate ethics in research.

4. Outliers (Why and What to Think)

Chapter five is designed to educate the reader to recognize two forms of outliers in research: 1) legitimate outliers when the results are true but can skew findings, and 2) illegitimate outliers that suggest the findings are too good to be true and are notably different from what other researchers find. This module discusses methods to manage outliers and provides a number of examples of legitimate outlier findings in and outside healthcare.

5. Translation Errors

Chapter six deals with the translation of information gathered during the reading of a research study to clinical practice. This module discusses the appropriate translation parameters based on study design, trial phase, researcher influence and statistics.

6. Effect Sizes and Conservative Estimates

Chapter seven is titled Effect Sizes and Conservative Estimates and is designed to provide the learner with a standardized measure to better evaluate the realistic impact of an intervention found in a particular study. Different forms of effect sizes (the magnitude of an intervention) are discussed as are the typical effect sizes for most rehabilitation-based interventions.

7. Summary

The summary chapter discusses the salient points of the course and provides recommended readings to the learners to enhance the materials within the modules.

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What’s the most effective current method to assure that research findings are valid, appropriate, and are a useful contribution to the literature? At present, our best method is critical appraisal performed through a peer review system. This course discusses the critical appraisal process from a journal’s point of view to the point of view and responsibility of the reviewer. Further, the course discusses legitimate sources of information and illegitimate sources, called predatory journals.

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What are the most common forms of papers written by clinicians, students and residents? Case reports and case studies. Case reports and case studies are two forms of study designs that provide value when describing unique cases, rare diagnoses, or treatment interventions that require great specificity. Each of these is cited poorly, thus most journals do not accept these for publication. This course discusses how to write, critique and publish a case report or case study.

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