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Make research work for you in clinical practice

By Natalia Masztalerz, Assistant Psychology (Outcome Measures)

At Brainkind (formerly The Disabilities Trust) we do our best to encourage our staff to keep an inquisitive mind and fuel the ambition of driving research in the field of brain injury rehabilitation as scientist-practitioners.

At Brainkind’s annual Assistant Psychologist Training Away day, the attendees chose to focus on their research skills and think about how this can be used to improve outcomes in everyday clinical practice.

For the first time since the pandemic, the away day took place in person in Birmingham, giving Assistant Psychologists the opportunity to network with their colleagues and share ideas face-to-face – a welcome breath of fresh air! During the day, the theoretical underpinnings behind neurobehavioral rehabilitation and the Brainkind’s model were explained by our clinical director Dr Rudi Coetzer.

The rest of the day involved fine-tuning research knowledge and skills in a hands-on workshop led by Dr Sara da Silva Ramos and Natalia Masztalerz. This practical section of the day saw each participant involved in the creation of a hypothetical study that could be conducted within Brainkind. The team were asked to answer the general question ‘Is neurobehavioural therapy effective?’ through the use of different methodologies, which sparked creative discussion concerning how advancements in the field might have implications for practice.

The Assistants considered their approach to answering this question using either a Randomised Control Trial (RCT), a case study, a cohort study or a systematic review and consolidated their ideas on a mock research poster. The workflow of this task reproduced the process of conducting a publishable piece of work in accordance with current standards, providing those involved with a realistic snapshot of the various stages of a research study from literature review to publication.

After completing this project, participants were given the opportunity to peer review the work produced on the day, as well as reviewing a number of studies produced by Brainkind throughout the years and consider its potential implications for evidence-based practice.

At the end of the day, all attendees had the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions, gain a better understanding of Brainkind’s neurobehavioural model, and hopefully headed home mulling on new ideas for future research of their own!

The research articles we used in the session are listed below. For more information about research at Brainkind, please follow our social media channels, or email research@brainkind.org

References

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