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Helewa A, Walker JM. Critical Evaluation of Research in Physical Rehabilitation: Towards Evidence-Based Practice. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company, 2000.
  1. Jayna M Holroyd-Leduc, MD
  1. University of Toronto
 Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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    Critical Evaluation of Research in Physical Rehabilitation aims to outline the tools required to search and critically evaluate evidence in the field of physical rehabilitation. Although the target audience is professionals in this field, I believe that the topics covered in this book are applicable to all healthcare professionals.

    The book includes 9 chapters that discuss research design and how to appraise the clinical literature. The first chapter provides an overview of research design and methods. An approach to conducting a literature review, including a description of various search engines, is outlined in subsequent chapters. Additional chapters discuss how to review articles about outcome measures, diagnostic tests, treatment efficacy, economic evaluation, and meta-analyses. The final 2 chapters discuss international research collaborations that readers might find useful (including the Cochrane Collaboration) and predictions for health care in the future. Several appendices include a checklist of the elements that research proposals and research papers should contain; evaluation forms that can be used for articles on outcome measures, diagnostic tests, treatment, economic evaluations, and meta-analyses; and citations of published papers that are referred to in the text. At the end of each chapter, exercises for readers allow for practice of the newly learned skills.

    Although it may not be as detailed as some other evidence-based medicine resources, Critical Evaluation of Research in Physical Rehabilitation can be easily reviewed in its entirety if the reader wishes to gain an approach to finding and critically appraising evidence. The clearly written headings and subheadings within each chapter also allow readers to use this resource as a quick reference text. The text is well written, clear, and uses relevant examples.

    Critical Evaluation of Research in Physical Rehabilitation is a good resource for students who are just beginning to learn about literature searching techniques and critical appraisal, but practising clinicians will find it helpful for appraisal of information needed to answer patient related questions.


    Methods/Quality of information: ★★★☆☆

    Clinical usefulness: ★★★★★

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    • Critical Evaluation of Research in Physical Rehabilitation: Towards Evidence-Based Practice can be purchased online at for US$37.95.