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KT Update

An e-newsletter from the Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research

Vol. 3, No. 5 - August 2015


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KT Update was developed by SEDL's Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (KTDRR) through grant number H133A120012 to SEDL from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Community Living (ACL). However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal government.

Copyright © 2015 by SEDL, an affiliate of American Institutes for Research

Upcoming KTDRR Webcast

Conducting Culturally Humble Rehabilitation Research
August 19, 2015 - 3-4:00 p.m. ET (2-3:00 p.m. CT)
More information:


New Online Workshop
Tips of the Trade:
Developing High Quality Research Syntheses

This is the online archive of an in-person, interactive workshop conducted by Dr. Chad Nye and Dr. Oliver Wendt. Research synthesis is a practical approach to aggregate qualitative research data. It can also be applied when data from a review of studies are not appropriate for meta-analysis. This workshop shares specific methods for synthesizing research and analyzing results in the disability and rehabilitation context using a reliable, documented, and consistent process. Topics covered include:

  1. Developing Research Syntheses
  2. Research Synthesis Process
  3. Data Extraction and Study Coding
  4. Quality Appraisal/Group Design
  5. Coding Discussion – Single Subject Design

Register here:

We have requested pre-approval for CRC-CEUs.

2015 Online KT Conference UPDATE
KT Solutions for Overcoming
Barriers to Research Use
October 26, 28, 30 (1–5 PM ET)

2015 KT Conference website:

Plans are coming together for the 2015 online KT Conference, designed to help grantees to identify strategies for overcoming barriers to the use of their NIDILRR-funded research. Conference registration is free.

Oct. 26: Understanding Your Audience and Their Needs - Invited presenters: Chantal Camden and Keiko Shikako-Thomas, lead authors of a scoping review on engaging stakeholders in rehabilitation research. Participation of NIDILRR’s KT Centers and grantees.

Oct. 28: Environments, Formats, and Strategies - Presenter Melanie Barwick will be featured as we address the latest changes in the KT Planning Template™. Participation of NIDILRR’s KT Centers and grantees.

Oct. 30: Policy and Outcomes - Invited presenter: Kathryn Oliver, lead author of a systematic review on barriers and facilitators of evidence use by policymakers. Participation of NIDILRR’s KT Centers and grantees.

Conference Registration:

Community of Practice on KT and Evidence for Disability & Rehabilitation Research

SEDL's Center on KTDRR invites you to participate in a Community of Practice (CoP) on Knowledge Translation and Evidence for D&R Research (CoP-EDR), which focuses on the creation, evaluation and use of evidence and related topics. A CoP provides people with similar interests and needs a venue to help one another to support and improve their professional activities. Members benefit when they ‘get something’ from others, but may benefit even more when they have something to share with other members. Learn more:

Please send email to Joann Starks if you would like more information about the KTDRR's Community of Practice.

2015 Knowledge Translation Casebook

Share your NIDILRR-funded knowledge translation (KT) experience with the Center on KTDRR for inclusion in the 2015 KT Casebook! All NIDILRR grantees share a goal “to promote the generation and effective use of knowledge in areas of importance to individuals with disabilities and their families” (NIDILRR Long-Range Plan for 2013-2017). Grantee contributions to the KT Casebook will help advance our knowledge about KT activities working within the parameters of a NIDILRR grant activity. To highlight your project's work in the 2015 KT Casebook, please fill out this short form and our staff will get in touch with you soon! The 2014 KT Casebook highlighting grantees' KT efforts in our community is now available.

Listing of Recent Systematic Reviews
in Disability and Rehabilitation

Adeyemo, B. O., Biederman, J., Zafonte, R., Kagan, E., Spencer, T. J., Uchida, M., . . . Faraone, S. V. (2014). Mild traumatic brain injury and ADHD: a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis. Journal of Attention Disorders, 18(7), 576-584. doi:10.1177/1087054714543371
Finds a significant association between mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but notes that the nature of the relationship and its causal direction needs to be further clarified before treatment and other implications can be specified.
PubMed PMID: 25047040

Bray, N., Noyes, J., Edwards, R. T., & Harris, N. (2014). Wheelchair interventions, services and provision for disabled children: a mixed-method systematic review and conceptual framework. BMC Health Services Research, 14, 309-6963-14-309. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-309
Notices that powered wheelchairs appear to offer benefits for children 14 months and up, in reducing caregiver assistance, improving mobility and independent movement, and enhancing communicative, cognitive and interpersonal development. The authors claim that more effective implementation strategies are needed to improve services and enhance outcomes.
PubMed PMID: 25034517
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4110242

Clijsen, R., Fuchs, J., & Taeymans, J. (2014). Effectiveness of exercise therapy in treatment of patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis. Physical Therapy, 94(12), 1697-1708. doi:10.2522/ptj.20130310
Concludes that exercise therapy reduces pain as well as activity limitations and participation restrictions in patients with patellofemoral pain.
PubMed PMID: 25082920

Gomara-Toldra, N., Sliwinski, M., & Dijkers, M. P. (2014). Physical therapy after spinal cord injury: a systematic review of treatments focused on participation. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 37(4), 371-379. doi:10.1179/2045772314Y.0000000194
Notes that most physical therapy interventions positively impacted participation and satisfaction with participation of individuals with spinal cord injury, but that the PT literature in this area is very limited.
PubMed PMID: 24621042
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4116720

Jassim, S. S., Douglas, S. L., & Haddad, F. S. (2014). Athletic activity after lower limb arthroplasty: a systematic review of current evidence. The Bone & Joint Journal, 96-B(7), 923-927. doi:10.1302/0301-620X.96B7.31585
Concludes that there is little evidence that high activity levels are associated with early implant failure. Participating in sports post implant is determined mostly by pre-operative activity level, age and body mass index, much less so by type of joint replaced.
PubMed PMID: 24986946

Kampshoff, C. S., Jansen, F., van Mechelen, W., May, A. M., Brug, J., Chinapaw, M. J., & Buffart, L. M. (2014). Determinants of exercise adherence and maintenance among cancer survivors: a systematic review. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 11, 80-5868-11-80. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-11-80
Finds moderate evidence for an association between pre-cancer exercise history and post-cancer exercise adherence. However, the latter was not reported to be consistently related to age, gender, education, to such psychological factors as self-efficacy, extraversion, attitude, or to such physical factors as cardiovascular fitness, body mass index, and fatigue.
PubMed PMID: 24989069
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4096543

Kinnear, B. Z., Lannin, N. A., Cusick, A., Harvey, L. A., & Rawicki, B. (2014). Rehabilitation therapies after botulinum toxin-A injection to manage limb spasticity: a systematic review. Physical Therapy, 94(11), 1569-1581. doi:10.2522/ptj.20130408
Concludes that combining botulinum toxin A (BoNT-A) with other therapy (stretch, electrical stimulation, ergometer cycling, etc.) is slightly more effective than BoNT-A alone in improving focal spasticity in limbs.
PubMed PMID: 25060957

Michaleff, Z. A., Kamper, S. J., Maher, C. G., Evans, R., Broderick, C., & Henschke, N. (2014). Low back pain in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the effectiveness of conservative interventions. European Spine Journal : Official Publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society, 23(10), 2046-2058. doi:10.1007/s00586-014-3461-1
Concludes that exercise interventions to treat low back pain in children and adolescents seem to be promising, but that as of yet there is no evidence that these interventions can prevent this type of pain.
PubMed PMID: 25070788

Neefkes-Zonneveld, C. R., Bakkum, A. J., Bishop, N. C., van Tulder, M. W., & Janssen, T. W. (2015). Effect of long-term physical activity and acute exercise on markers of systemic inflammation in persons with chronic spinal cord injury: a systematic review. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 96(1), 30-42. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2014.07.006
Finds that physical activity and exercise may have a beneficial effect on systemic markers of low-grade inflammation in individuals with spinal cord injury, particularly acute interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Effects seem to be greatest in those with paraplegia.
PubMed PMID: 25064781

Ogg-Groenendaal, M., Hermans, H., & Claessens, B. (2014). A systematic review on the effect of exercise interventions on challenging behavior for people with intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35(7), 1507-1517. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2014.04.003
Decides that exercise seems to be an effective treatment for people with intellectual disabilities who display challenging behavior. However, more research is needed to optimize recommendations for intensity, duration, frequency and group vs. individual format.
PubMed PMID: 24763376

Pisa, F. E., Biasutti, E., Drigo, D., & Barbone, F. (2014). The prevalence of vegetative and minimally conscious states: a systematic review and methodological appraisal. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 29(4), E23-30.
Observes that there are few studies of the prevalence of the vegetative state and minimally conscious state, which show high variability precluding pooling of data. Comparable methods in future studies for case definition, ascertainment and confirmation are recommended. doi:10.1097/HTR.0b013e3182a4469f
PubMed PMID: 24052091

Stanton, R., & Happell, B. (2014). A systematic review of the aerobic exercise program variables for people with schizophrenia. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 13(4), 260-266. doi:10.1249/JSR.0000000000000069
Determines that aerobic exercise (including treadmill walking and cycling) at moderate intensity (30-40 minutes per session, 3 times a week) is safe and beneficial for people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
PubMed PMID: 25014392

Stolwyk, R. J., O'Neill, M. H., McKay, A. J., & Wong, D. K. (2014). Are cognitive screening tools sensitive and specific enough for use after stroke? A systematic literature review. Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation, 45(10), 3129-3134. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.004232
Based on a review of evidence for sensitivity and specificity of cognitive screening measures after stroke, concludes that there is little support for the use of the MMSE, but promise for the MoCA, Cognistat, RBANS, and BNI.
PubMed PMID: 25074518

Tsertsvadze, A., Clar, C., Court, R., Clarke, A., Mistry, H., & Sutcliffe, P. (2014). Cost-effectiveness of manual therapy for the management of musculoskeletal conditions: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of evidence from randomized controlled trials. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 37(6), 343-362. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2014.05.001
Claims that the evidence suggests that manual therapy has some economic advantage over alternative interventions for managing musculoskeletal conditions, including usual general practitioner care or advice, spinal stabilization, or brief pain management. However, evidence on cost-effectiveness and cost-utility of manual therapy is very limited. (Open access article)
PubMed PMID: 24986566

Listing of Recent Papers on Methodology of Systematic Reviewing and Meta-Analysis

Colquhoun, H. L., Levac, D., O'Brien, K. K., Straus, S., Tricco, A. C., Perrier, L.,… Moher, D. (2014). Scoping reviews: time for clarity in definition, methods, and reporting. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 67(12), 1291-1294. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.03.013
Notes that scoping reviews have become popular as a means of knowledge synthesis, but that there is no consensus on terminology, methodology and reporting. Makes recommendations for all three.
PubMed PMID: 25034198

Fiest, K. M., Pringsheim, T., Patten, S. B., Svenson, L. W., & Jette, N. (2014). The role of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of incidence and prevalence studies in neuroepidemiology. Neuroepidemiology, 42(1), 16-24. doi:10.1159/000355533
Offers a discussion of conducting a systematic review of prevalence (applied specifically to neuroepidemiology), a topic not very common in the literature on evidence synthesis. (Free article)
PubMed PMID: 24356060

Järvholm, B., & Bohlin, I. (2014). Evidence-based evaluation of information: the centrality and limitations of systematic reviews. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 42(13 Suppl), 3-10. doi:10.1177/1403494813516713
Discusses systematic reviews in social science, where interventions often are complex, hard to blind, and context-dependent. It highlights three controversies in systematic reviewing: the criteria by which the quality of individual studies is assessed; conflict of interest of reviewers; formal tools used in systematic reviewing vs professional judgments.
PubMed PMID: 24553849

Li, T., Saldanha, I. J., Vedula, S. S., Yu, T., Rosman, L., Twose, C., … Dickersin, K. (2014). Learning by doing-teaching systematic review methods in 8 weeks. Research Synthesis Methods, 5(3), 254-263. doi:10.1002/jrsm.1111
Describes the 8-week course “Systematic reviews and meta-analysis” offered at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The course is hands-on, with students assigned to multidisciplinary groups which each conduct a systematic review.
PubMed PMID: 26052850

Lucenteforte, E., Moja, L., Pecoraro, V., Conti, A. A., Conti, A., Crudeli, E., … Virgili, G. (2015). Discordances originated by multiple meta-analyses on interventions for myocardial infarction: a systematic review. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 68(3), 246-256. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.11.004
Investigates discrepancies (discordances) between systematic reviews (on the treatment or prevention of myocardial infarction) that were based on the same PICO (population, intervention, comparator, outcome) question. Finds that in 14 of 16 instances, the systematic reviews agreed on conclusions, but that even in these there were minor discrepancies in study/outcome selection, subgroup analysis, or interpretation of findings. Notes that such inconsistencies may slow clinical utilization of these reviews.
PubMed PMID: 25533151

Maggin, D. M., & Odom, S. L. (2014). Evaluating single-case research data for systematic review: a commentary for the special issue. Journal of School Psychology, 52(2), 237-241. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2014.01.002
Offers an introduction to a special issue on the evaluation and synthesis of single-case research (single subject design studies) to inform evidence-based practice and policy. It offers conceptual underpinnings as well as recommendations for the use of both visual and statistical analyses in primary research of this nature.
PubMed PMID: 24606978

Mullen, E. J. (2014). Evidence-based knowledge in the context of social practice. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 42(13 Suppl), 59-73. doi:10.1177/1403494813516714
Discusses how a variety of primary research and of synthesis methods can contribute to the evidence-based social work practice.
PubMed PMID: 24553855

Mullins, M. M., DeLuca, J. B., Crepaz, N., & Lyles, C. M. (2014). Reporting quality of search methods in systematic reviews of HIV behavioral interventions (2000-2010): are the searches clearly explained, systematic and reproducible? Research Synthesis Methods, 5(2), 116-130. doi:10.1002/jrsm.1098
Identifies the common elements of a number of guidelines for reporting of a systematic review, and evaluates whether the systematic search used in reviews of HIV interventions is consistent with these common guidelines.
PubMed PMID: 26052651

Pieper, D., Antoine, S. L., Neugebauer, E. A., & Eikermann, M. (2014). Up-to-dateness of reviews is often neglected in overviews: a systematic review. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 67(12), 1302-1308. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.08.008
Investigates 147 overviews (also called reviews of reviews, umbrella reviews) and notes that frequently, they are out of date: a median of 36% of the constituent reviews were published more than 6 years ago. Even so, not a single overview investigated systematically whether an update was necessary; one fourth considered up-to-dateness. (Open access article)
PubMed PMID: 25281222

Polkki, T., Kanste, O., Kaariainen, M., Elo, S., & Kyngas, H. (2014). The methodological quality of systematic reviews published in high-impact nursing journals: a review of the literature. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 23(3-4), 315-332. doi:10.1111/jocn.12132
Assessed 39 systematic reviews for their methodological quality assessment, description of synthesis, and reporting of their own strengths and weaknesses.
PubMed PMID: 23489745

Rader, T., Mann, M., Stansfield, C., Cooper, C., & Sampson, M. (2014). Methods for documenting systematic review searches: a discussion of common issues. Research Synthesis Methods, 5(2), 98-115. doi:10.1002/jrsm.1097
Discusses issues and recommendations resulting from a survey of systematic review authors and librarians on the topic of documenting systematic review searches, and offers suggestions for specific elements to be recorded as well as the information management process as a whole.
PubMed PMID: 26052650

Rethlefsen, M. L., Murad, M. H., & Livingston, E. H. (2014). Engaging medical librarians to improve the quality of review articles. Jama, 312(10), 999-1000. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.9263
Discusses the expertise and services medical librarians can offer in identifying literature for a systematic review.
PubMed PMID: 25203078

Shemilt, I., Simon, A., Hollands, G. J., Marteau, T. M., Ogilvie, D., O'Mara-Eves, A., … Thomas, J. (2014). Pinpointing needles in giant haystacks: use of text mining to reduce impractical screening workload in extremely large scoping reviews. Research Synthesis Methods, 5(1), 31-49. doi:10.1002/jrsm.1093
Discusses text mining applications to reduce the workload of scoping reviews, and offers two examples where the workload of manually screening >800,000 records was reduced by ≥88%. Transfer of these methods to systematic reviewing is discussed.
PubMed PMID: 26054024

Stansfield, C., Brunton, G., & Rees, R. (2014). Search wide, dig deep: literature searching for qualitative research. An analysis of the publication formats and information sources used for four systematic reviews in public health. Research Synthesis Methods, 5(2), 142-151. doi:10.1002/jrsm.1100
Suggests that for public health systematic reviews, especially those that need to synthesize information on public opinions, a great variety of information sources needs to be explored, including books, unpublished reports, theses, conference papers and raw data sets.
PubMed PMID: 26052653

Whittemore, R., Chao, A., Jang, M., Minges, K. E., & Park, C. (2014). Methods for knowledge synthesis: an overview. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care, 43(5), 453-461. doi:10.1016/j.hrtlng.2014.05.014
Offers a discussion of recent advances and guidelines for systematic reviews, meta-analyses, mixed study reviews, qualitative synthesis, integrative reviews, scoping reviews, RE-AIM reviews and umbrella reviews.
PubMed PMID: 25012634

SEDL, an affiliate of American Institutes for Research, operates the Center on KTDRR. SEDL is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and is committed to affording equal access to education and employment opportunities for all individuals. SEDL does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, or the presence of a disability.

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