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Evidence-Based Practice PT

Background questions

What is a background question?

A background question is when you are seeking general knowledge about a process, condition, test, treatment or thing. The background question is intended to provide ciritcal information about the topiuc being studies, hglihting and expanding upon foundational studies conducted in the apst, or a gap in knowledge, translation of research into clinical practice, or any other important historical event that informs why you chose your clinical focused research question.  

The background question should answer:

  • Why did you choose your foreground question?
  • What is the current information, or lack of information, surrounding your clinical question?

Examples of background questions:

  • What is the incidence of Parkinson's disease?
  • Why might balance strategies decrease the risk for falling in patients with Parkinson's disease?
  • Finding valid and reliable outcome measures for fall risk in patients with Parkinson's disease

Background/overview information may be found in sources such as:

  • books and eBooks, evidence summaries, reference books, textbooks, chapters, and appendices. 
  • drug directories, guides to diagnostic tests 
  • overview articles
  • expert opinions, pre-synthesized and pre-appraised guidelines or summaries 

Point of Care Tools

Background information can also be found in electronic tools that aggregate texts, reference, drug monographs and more.  These point of care tools, summaries are used by busy clinicians who need quick access to disease, drug and best practice information in their clinical setting.

Below are a few examples of point of care electronic tools:

DynaMed Plus is a point of care tool that helps clinicians get answers to clinical question.  The content is is written by a world-class team of physicians who synthesize the evidence and provide objective analysis

ClinicalKey is an online resource designed to provide fast answers to clinical questions.  It includes textbooks, journals, drug information, clinical practice guidelines, patient education materials, images and videos, evidence-based point-of-care reference, and training in common medical procedures.