Promoting the use of outcome measures across disciplines through action research with practitioners in a palliative care setting

SK Reynolds, K Bannigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background/Aim
Allied health professionals aspire to become evidence-based practitioners but disparity exists between best practice and clinical practice. One example is outcome measurement; despite being committed to using outcome measures, allied health professionals struggle to use them. This study aimed to explore the process of introducing outcome measures into a practice setting.

Methods
A qualitative action research study was undertaken with allied health professionals working in a hospice setting. The data, collected in three cycles of action, were analysed thematically.

Findings
Three themes emerged: the gap between knowledge and practice, the challenges of measuring outcomes in palliative care, and facilitators to using outcome measures in palliative care. Action research provided a structure to involve therapists in introducing outcome measures within a practice setting.

Conclusions
This study provides insight into how a clinical speciality's discrete characteristics influence the process of selecting outcome measures. In a hospice setting, where people have life-shortening conditions, the challenges for using outcome measures are different to other settings. Action research offers a deep learning opportunity and process, through education, discussion, and critique, to support therapists to select and adopt the outcome measures to use in practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2019

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