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What evidence, whose evidence?: Physical therapy in New York State's clinical practice guideline and in the lives of mothers of disabled children.

Overview
Title:
What evidence, whose evidence?: Physical therapy in New York State's clinical practice guideline and in the lives of mothers of disabled children.
Authors:
Landsman GH
Journal:
Soc Sci Med.
Publication date:
2006 Jun
Volume:
62
Issue:
11
First page:
2670
Last page:
80
Link to pubmed:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16386344
Publication type:
Journal
Abstract
To provide recommendations based on the best scientific evidence available about "best practices," the New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Program sponsored the development of an evidence-based clinical practice guideline for assessment and intervention for young children with motor disabilities. The author served on the multidisciplinary consensus panel convened to develop the guideline, holding a position as a parent of a child with motor disabilities, and in addition utilizing data from her qualitative anthropological research on mothers of young children newly diagnosed with disabilities. This article describes the state panel's process for developing the guideline, focusing on recommendations about physical therapy interventions for cerebral palsy. Although evidence-based practice privileges randomized clinical trials, few studies of physical therapy techniques for young children with motor disabilities meet such criteria for evidence. The panel's recommendations, in the absence of such scientific evidence, are analyzed in comparison with competing theories of motor development in physical therapy research and practice, and with interpretations of physical therapy held by mothers of young children with disabilities who were interviewed in the study. The article explores questions of what constitutes evidence in three arenas: (1) clinical practice guidelines, (2) physical therapy research, and (3) the lives of families of young children with motor disabilities. It has broader implications for understanding how information, variously derived, is transformed into evidence. While to some extent authority and power affect the range of knowledge that can be transformed into evidence, the more significant constraints may be the rules of evidence we value and the particular paradigm of our science.
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What evidence, whose evidence?: Physical therapy in New York State's clinical practice guideline and in the lives of mothers of disabled children. Landsman GH. Soc Sci Med. 2006 Jun; 62(11):2670-80.

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