Getting Rid of Something Positive
Simple Feedback By Trevithj (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Getting Rid of Something Positive

That title is a little misleading. Remember “positive” does not mean “good” when we talk science. It means “additive”. In my opinion, physical therapy is most effective at removing something positive from our patients. Let me explain… (more…)

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Does Experience Matter?
Photo Credit: opensource.com

Does Experience Matter?

Photo Credit: opensource.com
Photo Credit: opensource.com

Yes. Experience matters. Thanks for reading! I’ll look for your comments below…

Of course I’m kidding. I turned off the comments long ago – the last people that I want to hear from are the loons on the internet… (more…)

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Could You Be Wrong?
Photo Credit: b-tal

Could You Be Wrong?

Photo Credit: b-tal
Photo Credit: b-tal

We all have beliefs – there’s nothing wrong with that. We also all have prejudices, biases, etc. Not ideal, but that’s the reality. With some appropriate critical thinking, you can keep those at bay. Now, is it possible that your beliefs are wrong? Any self-respecting scientist would say, “Absolutely!!!”…and that is true of EVERYTHING that you believe. You could always be wrong.

So how accurate are your beliefs? Have you been a slave to confirmation bias and your prejudices or are you being honestly critical? How will the future view your beliefs? Will you find out later that you were wrong, really wrong? As a medical provider, will you find out that you were advising patients with grossly inaccurate information? Well, psychology research has looked at this and it turns out, you can accurately judge the quality of your own beliefs… (more…)

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Does Positive Mean What You Think It Means?

tick-313589_640When chatting with others, we all understand what someone means when they say positive or negative. Positive usually falls in line with the idea of the “bright side” as in being an optimist and having a positive attitude. Negative on the other hand usually refers to the idea of the “dark side” as in being a pessimist and having a negative attitude.

Although these are examples of proper uses of these words, thinking about them this way can be confusing when trying to apply them in scientific discussions. For example, whenever I hear someone say something like, “I am a big believer in positive reinforcement,” I know that that person doesn’t know what they are talking about… (more…)

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When A Valid Argument Can Be False
Photo Credit: North Carolina Digital Heritage Center

When A Valid Argument Can Be False

Photo Credit: North Carolina Digital Heritage Center
Photo Credit: North Carolina Digital Heritage Center

“That’s valid,” you say, but what do you mean by that? A single statement can be valid by itself if it is a previously proven “truth”, but what about an argument? You remember arguments, right? Premise, premise, therefore conclusion? Funny thing about valid arguments, they have nothing to do directly with truth. Arguments can be valid and false at the same time, just as they can be invalid and true at the same time. What?

Since deductive arguments are the basis of all research, you need to understand this concept. I have quoted before on a podcast, “A flawed study is still a flawed study regardless of p-value or level of evidence.” Here’s how!

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Uncertainty and The Simple-Minded
Photo Credit: Mathieu Bertrand Struck

Uncertainty and The Simple-Minded

Photo Credit: Mathieu Bertrand Struck
Photo Credit: Mathieu Bertrand Struck

I’ve written in a previous post that reality keeps us from being 100% certain of any “truth”. This is why we have science and its flaming laser sword of falsifiability. But why is this such a tricky concept for humans to grasp? And what about uncertainty? Is there room for uncertainty in science? Sure! Science is very comfortable with uncertainty! (more…)

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Are your patients out of control?
Photo Credit: Faramarz Hashemi

Are your patients out of control?

Photo Credit: Faramarz Hashemi
Photo Credit: Faramarz Hashemi

In psychology, a lot of things are described as a continuum: Introvert vs extrovert, optimist vs pessimist, etc. Nobody is purely one or the other, but everyone falls somewhere on the continuum. Also, many of these can be combined to describe an overall global tendency. Those of you with a Dungeons & Dragons background understand ethical and moral alignment of a character (I am chaotic good in case you were wondering). So what does this have to do with physical therapy?

An often overlooked continuum of personality is locus of control. It has to do with the person’s view of how they interact with the world (not to be confused with a person’s narrative, that’s a whole other post). Whether or not your patient has an internal or an external locus of control can have a huge affect on how they respond to your interaction with them. It can also explain why some patients self-discharge after a visit or two, whereas you just can’t get rid of others. Confused? Read on… (more…)

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Understanding Specific and Non-Specific Effects

In episodes of PT Inquest, we have discussed the need to understand the specific effects of an intervention in contrast to the non-specific effects of an intervention. Since understanding the specific effects of a treatment is a main goal of any research on interventions, the hypothesis that all of the effects are non-specific is the null that must be rejected. But what exactly does that mean? Are all specific effects objective and measurable? Yes, absolutely. Are all objective changes specific effects? No, not at all. Confused? Then read on…

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