Department of Family Medicine

J Can Chiropr Assoc 2012; 56(3) 167


Introduction Clinicians often witness impressive treatment results in practice. And may wish to pursue research to formally ex- plore their anecdotal experiences. The potential to further new knowledge both within the profession. And to the greater healthcare system is compelling. An obvious next step for a practitioner considering research is to connect with experienced researchers to convey their idea for a study, who may in turn ask, “What is your research ques- tion?”

chiropractic profession in Canada

With limited understanding of how to respond, this interaction may result in the first. And last experience these clinicians will have with the research community. It has been estimated that between 1% and 7% of the chiropractic profession in Canada is engaged in re- search.1,2 Arguably, this low engagement could be the result of practitioners’ perceived importance of research. And levels of research literacy and capacity. However, in- creasing demands for evidence-based approaches across the health system puts pressure on all clinicians to base their decisions on the best available scientific evidence. Lack of clinician representation in research has the prob- able effect of limiting growth. And new developments for the profession. Furthermore, lack of clinician involve-

ment in research complicates the transfer of study find- ings into practical settings. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research describes integrated knowledge translation as a process that in- volves collaboration between researchers and knowledge users at all stages of a research project.3 This necessitates involvement of clinicians to help in forming a research question, interpreting the results, and moving research findings into practice. This shared effort between clin- icians and researchers increases the likelihood that re- search initiatives will be relevant to practice.3 Conversely, it has been reported that there is a growing communica- tion gap between clinicians and academics in chiroprac- tic.

important practice-related questions to ask,

4 Clinicians have important practice-related questions to ask, but many may lack the ability to map out their re- search strategy. Specifically in communicating their ques- tion in a manner required to develop a research protocol. David L. Sackett, Officer of the Order of Canada. And the founding Chair of Canada’s first Department of Clin- ical Epidemiology & Biostatistics at McMaster Univer- sity. Highlights the importance of mapping one’s research strategy in exploration of the research question: “one- third of a trial’s time between the germ of your idea and

What is your research question? An introduction to the PICOT format for clinicians John J. Riva, BA, DC† Keshena M.P. Malik, BSc, DC¶ Stephen J. Burnie, BSc, DC, MSc‡ Andrea R. Endicott, LLB, MPPAL£ Jason W. Busse, DC, PhD§*

† Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. ¶ Graduate Student, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. ‡ Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario. £ Senior Policy Analyst, Ontario Chiropractic Association, Toronto, Ontario. § Institute for Work & Health, Toronto, Ontario. * Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

Funding: No funds were received for the preparation of this manuscript. Dr. Busse is funded by a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation. Dr. Riva is funded by an award from the NCMIC Foundation. Drs. Burnie, Busse, Malik. And Riva are members of the McMaster Chiropractic Working Group. Which receives in-kind support from the Canadian Chiropractic Association. Competing Interests: None. Correspondence: Dr. John J. Riva, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, McMaster Innovation Park, 175 Longwood Road South, Hamilton, Ontario; email: ©JCCA 2012



168 J Can Chiropr Assoc 2012; 56(3)

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