Special communication| Volume 93, ISSUE 8, SUPPLEMENT , S101-S110, August 2012

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Advancing the Evidence Base of Rehabilitation Treatments: A Developmental Approach


      Whyte J, Barrett AM. Advancing the evidence base of rehabilitation treatments: a developmental approach.
      Translational research refers to the development of new scientific discoveries into evidence-based treatments for human diseases and conditions. This developmental process requires that a number of scientific, as well as social and psychological obstacles, be overcome during a sequence of research stages that address different goals. Rehabilitation, like other biomedical disciplines, requires this kind of developmental process. For a variety of reasons, however, development of rehabilitation treatments is less linear than the familiar phases of pharmaceutical research. In addition, research on treatments intended to address impairments (body structure/function, in terms of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health), faces the challenge of determining the likely impact of an impairment-level treatment on the multifaceted activities and aspects of participation that are the typical goals of rehabilitation treatments. This article describes the application of treatment theory and enablement theory to the development of new impairment-based treatments, and examines similarities and differences between the developmental sequence needed for rehabilitation treatment research versus pharmaceutical research in other areas of medicine.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      APT (attention process training), CIMT (constraint-induced movement therapy), ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health), RCT (randomized controlled trial), TBI (traumatic brain injury)
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