JSLHR Article

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Practice-Based Research: Another Pathway for Closing the Research–Practice Gap

Pamela Crooke and Lesley Olswang
December 2015


Approaching research from more than one perspective is necessary for ultimately improving the quality of client and patient care. Practice-based research acknowledges the value of understanding clinical decision making in everyday contexts as an important complement to evidence generated in laboratories.

 

Purpose: Practice-based research is proposed as an additional way to bridge the divide between research and practice.

 

Method: The article compares the traditional, laboratory- based research with research that is generated from practice: practice-based research. The defining features of each are described, with an emphasis on contrasting internal and external validity. Retrospective and prospective practice-based studies are described. Guidelines for designing a retrospective study are provided along with a specific example from practice focusing on social communication learning. Last, the authors discuss the value of information generated from practice-based research for contributing to the knowledge base of not only a practice, but also a discipline.

 

Conclusion: The argument is made that approaching research from more than one perspective is necessary for ultimately improving the quality of client and patient care. Practice-based research acknowledges the value of understanding clinical decision making in everyday contexts as an important complement to evidence generated in laboratories. This article is intended to invigorate interest in the uniqueness of practice-based research as a way of encouraging the talents of researchers and practitioners as they work together to gather evidence for improving the lives of individuals with communication disorders.

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