Myth: Clinical research rarely focuses on what is actually seen in clinical practice. The science of research makes the research groups so pure and rules out so many patients that I can’t apply this research when a client walks into my office asking for help. Therefore, it is not worth paying attention to reading what is in the journals.
Fact: There are limitations in evidence-based practice. There is no doubt about that being the case. However, by ignoring what is in the journals I believe one is missing out on practice development ideas.
For example, take the following abstract:
Blanchard, E., Hickling, E., Taylor, A., Loos, W. et al. (1994). Psychological morbidity associated with motor vehicle accidents. Behaviour Research & Therapy, 32. 283-290
Assessed 50 victims (aged 18–71 yrs) of recent motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), who had sought medical attention after their accidents, for possible psychological morbidity as a result of the accident. 40 age- and gender-matched controls were also assessed with the same instruments. 46% of the MVA victims met the criteria for current posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the accident, while 20% showed a sub-syndromal version of PTSD. Although all MVA victims showed some form of driving reluctance, only 1 S met the criteria for driving phobia. PTSD or sub-syndromal PTSD MVA victims were significantly more likely to have experienced previous trauma, other than a serious MVA. 48% of MVA victims who met the criteria for current PTSD also met the criteria for current major depression. Significantly more current MVA-PTSDs had suffered previous major depressive episodes.
This article gave me the seed of an idea to develop an evaluation service for personal injury attorneys, physicians, and chiropractors that focused on assessing PTSD in their patients. I then read up on this area, obtained the questionnaires from the research protocols, and then marketed this service to these gatekeepers. It resulted in a large number of referrals from an untapped market.
As another example, take the following abstract:
Galovski, T. & Blanchard, E. (2002). The effectiveness of a brief psychological intervention on court-0referred and self-referred aggressive drivers. Behaviour Research & Therapy, 40. 1385-1402
This study tested the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral psychological intervention (CBT) targeting aggressive driving behaviors within both a court-referred (N=20) and a self-referred community (N=8) sample as compared to a symptom monitoring (SM) only control condition. Treatment outcome was assessed through the use of daily driving diaries, standard psychological tests, and a global rating of change scale. The CBT treatment condition improved more than the SM condition as assessed through the daily driving diaries. Although the court-referred and self-referred samples showed equivalent improvement on the driving diaries, the self-referred group improved more on measures of general anger. Standardized measures of driving anger, state anxiety and measures of general anger indicated significant change in the expected direction. Aggressive drivers who met criteria for Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) showed a trend to improve less than non-IED aggressive drivers. Treatment gains were maintained at the 2-month follow-up point.
So if you have an entrepreneurial spirit what might you be able to develop in your practice fueled by this data? One could approach traffic court judges about developing a similar program in your local community. You could approach defense attorneys who might be interested in a deferred prosecution program for their clients who have committed road rage offenses.
Moral of the Story: Reading data-based research can help you earn money in your practice by helping you to generate practice opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about this the American Psychological Association offers a two-credit CEU program on this topic and it may be found at: