DPT-810: Intro Research & Biostats

Credits 2.0
Academic Level

This first of the three courses in the research curriculum is dedicated to the standard of decision-making for health professionals known as evidence-based practice (EBP). This course focuses on the method of applying the best research evidence to patient care (one of three pillars of EBP). The goal of this is course is for students to value and understand the role of evidence-based clinical practice. This course aims for students to develop the beginning skills of becoming critical consumers of scientific literature. Students will develop skills that will enable them to systematically review the scientific literature and make informed decisions regarding applying research findings in their future physical therapy practice. The contents in this course will provide the students the skills to perform the first three steps of EBP: Ask, Acquire, and Appraise. Students will learn to convert clinical problems into structured and answerable clinical questions using the PICO model and other variants relative to the problem. Students will learn literature search techniques by selecting the highest level of evidence between primary and secondary research outputs with the understanding of the research design employed in the selected evidence. The literature search will also include using library resources (e.g., databases, librarians) to maximize and exhaust the literature. Finally, students will learn to correctly appraise the scientific literature by evaluating the validity, presence of biases, ethical concerns, and confidently interpreting statical results before deciding the evidence's applicability to practice. At the conclusion of the course, the students will be matched with a faculty with an ongoing research project as a research advisor. The students' research experience with their advisors will begin in DPT 811 and culminate in DPT 912 as a scientific poster. The poster will be presented at the Research Symposium in the Fall Semester of year three, concluding the research curriculum.