A research agenda for Hand Therapy
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A survey, to which 401 hand therapists responded, was conducted to establish research priorities in the field of hand therapy and to investigate barriers to hand therapy research. Results indicated that reimbursement issues, particularly those generated by managed care, were reported to have adversely affected quality of patient care, job satisfaction, job security, and ability to conduct research. Research priorities were defined in this study, and the need for clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of hand therapy interventions was found to be urgent. Research questions identified by respondents reflected both the traditional disorders treated by hand therapists, such as tendon repairs, and a greater concern with issues concerning cumulative trauma. Barriers to research were reported by respondents, and ways in which professional organizations could meet clinicians' needs in conducting and utilizing research were highlighted.
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