PT Critically Appraised Topics

The critically appraised topics (CATs) on this site were created by students in the Pacific University School of Physical Therapy doctoral degree program. Information on the program can be found here. The CATs on this site have been evaluated by Pacific University PT faculty, but have not undergone additional peer review.

While these CATs provide a valuable summary of the best available evidence at the time of writing, readers are encouraged to use the CATs on this site as a starting point for further reading and investigation, rather than as definitive answers to the clinical questions posed.

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Submissions from 2015

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Does the Bobath/ neurodevelopmental technique (NDT) improve gait quality in acutely post stroke individuals?, Victoria Haddad

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Hippotherapy and gross motor function in children with spastic cerebral palsy: A critical analysis of the available literature, Joe Oelfke

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Efficacy of utilizing an eccentric-based exercise program in the treatment of subacromial impingement syndrome, Ricky Pitman

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Does the use of Balance-Based Torso-Weight increase gait velocity in people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis?, Sarah Tomscha and Christina Dodini-Marquez

Submissions from 2014

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The effect of high-intensity strength training as compared to standard medical care on muscle strength, physical function and health status, in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Functional Class II, Meghan Biggs and Carrie Yap

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The Effects of Focus of Attention on Ambulation in the Acute Care Setting, Anna Botterill

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The Efficacy of Upright Standing with Supportive Standing Frame Compared to No Standing Frame When Combined with Traditional Physical Therapy Intervention on Postural Control in Sub-Acute CVA with Significant Hemiplegia, Anna Botterill

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The therapeutic efficacy of thoracic spine manipulation when combined with common conservative interventions for patients with mechanical neck pain, Tony Braga

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Comparing the efficacy of spinal stabilization exercises and McKenzie (i.e. repeated movement) exercises in the treatment of chronic low back pain as measured by disability scores and pain reduction, Laurel Charbonneau

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The efficacy of short wave diathermy in decreasing knee pain in female patients with knee osteoarthritis, Laurel Charbonneau

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The therapeutic efficacy of the Ponseti method of serial casting for children with clubfoot, Jamie Ford

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The Effect of Pre-operative Exercises, Education and Pain Control for Patients Undergoing a Total Hip Arthroplasty, Shawnae Huffsmith and Evan Liu

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Differences in Functional and Pain-related Outcomes for Patients Following Total Hip Arthroplasty Performed Using a Posterior versus Anterior Approach, Anne L. Jeffery

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Comparing the Treatment of Low Back Pain in Working Adults Using the McKenzie Method or Manual Therapy to Decrease Pain and Increase Function as Measured by Effect Size, Number Needed to Treat, the Visual Analogue Scale and a Standardized Functional Outcome Assessment Tool, Anne Jeffrey and Ashlee Roderick

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Aquatic vs. Land-Based Exercises as a Viable Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis, Kelsey Kallioinen

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The effectiveness of soft tissue manipulation as compared to a home program in decreasing pain and increasing range of motion for individuals with temporomandibular disorders, Krystyna Owens

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A comparison of strength training to standard care at Khayelitsha Special School in improving motor function and strength in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy, Leah Rybolt

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A comparison of exercise intervention to standard care in decreasing fall risk for patients with Parkinson’s disease, Leah Rybolt and Monica McPartland

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The Effects of the Inclusion of a Bobath Based Approach in the Rehabilitative Treatment of Patients Post Stroke Resulting in Hemiparesis, Lauren Wagner

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A comparison of early skilled therapeutic exercise vs. usual standard care in the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) following an acute exacerbation and how it affects future hospital readmission, R. Stephen White

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The Effects of Botulinum Toxin Type-A on Spasticity and Motor Function in Children with Cerebral Palsy, Stephanie Yamamoto

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The effects of Tai Chi on balance and gait in patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease, Stephanie Yamamoto and Hannah Schonau-Taylor

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Treatment Methods to Reduce Pain and Cobb Angle for Patients Diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, Kristen Zaporowski

Submissions from 2013

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The Effectiveness of a Nursing Staff Education Program in Reducing the Use of Physical Restraints as Measured by Physical Restraint Intensity in Patients Residing in a Long Term Care Facility, Shandrea Hubbs

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The effectiveness of high intensity interval training in improving VO2 max for performance gains as compared to standard endurance training in athletes, Krystyna Owens

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The Effectiveness of Patellar Taping Combined with Exercise on Pain in Adults with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), Kristin Paruszkiewicz

Submissions from 2012

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The Predictive Validity of the Test of Infant Motor Performance on School Age Motor Developmental Delay, Meredith Brunette

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The diagnostic accuracy of patient subjective history compared to the gold standard of urodynamic testing for diagnosing genuine stress urinary incontinence (GSI), Gina Clark and Lauren Murphy

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The Effectiveness of Warm Water Pool Therapy as Measured by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire in the Outpatient Setting of Middle-Aged Women who have Fibromyalgia, Sara Hieter and Sara Garfinkel

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The Effectiveness of an Aerobic Exercise Program as Measured by the Six Minute Walk Test and Subjective Fatigue Scales in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis with a Primary Complaint of Decreased Walking Ability Secondary to Fatigue, Shandrea Hubbs

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Early Intensive Gait Training vs. Conventional Low Intensity Gait Training in Individuals Post Stroke, Healani Leite-Ah-Yo and Bethany Banke

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Neck stabilization exercises compared to physical therapy modalities to decrease insidious neck pain in adults treated in an outpatient setting, Emily Nichol

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The effectiveness of the McKenzie method in treating back or neck pain in adults as compared to manual therapy and education as measured by a decrease in pain, Krystyna Owens and Angela Zielinski

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Diagnostic Accuracy of the Thessaly Test for Predicting Meniscal Tears in Patients aged 15 to 50 as Measured by Sensitivity, Specificity, and Likelihood Ratios, John Peixoto and Alexandra Tarpo

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A comparison between minimally invasive and traditional surgical approaches to total knee arthroplasties in improving functional outcomes and reducing pain levels in adult patients, Heather Robinson and John Eng

Submissions from 2011

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Trigger point therapy. Is it effective for pain and improving patient function?, David Cieslowski

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Efficacy of segmental versus global core stabilization exercises for patients with chronic low back pain (LBP), Hui En Gilpin

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Diagnostic Accuracy of Orthopedic Special Tests for Meniscal Injury, Alison Horn

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Functional Training as Compared to Resistive Strength Training in Older Adults with Functional Deficits, Kristine Hostager

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The efficacy of traditional approaches with and without hip strengthening in the treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome, Marissa Loosli

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The Use of Interferential Current and Therapeutic Exercise in the Treatment of Acute Low Back Pain, Ashley Mildren

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Using the Nintendo Wii Balance Board™ + Wii Fit™ software to decrease the risk of falls in the geriatric population, David Peterson

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The effect of continuous passive motion on knee flexion, pain, and function after total knee arthroplasty, Cheryl Rudisile

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Is continuous flow cold compression therapy better than ice and/or compression alone for the treatment of post-operative Total Knee Replacements?, Shane Rushing

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The Effectiveness of Casting and Botulinum Toxin A for Treating Equinus Gait in Children with Cerebral Palsy, Amy Smith

The effects of mirror therapy on upper extremity rehabilitation following hemiparesis after a stroke, James Webster

Submissions from 2010

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Efficacy of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to relieve severe pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA), Hui En Gilpin

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Comparison of hospital-based versus home-based cardiac rehabilitation for patients following an acute cardiac event, Alison Horn

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Thoracic Manipulation in the Treatment of Patients with Mechanical Neck Pain, Kristine Hostager

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The effects of body weight support treadmill walking for older adults with lumbar spinal stenosis compared to standard back stabilization exercises, Ali Jakubowski

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The effects of manual therapy and exercise for adults with temporomandibular joint disorders compared to electrical modalities and exercise, Ali Jakubowski

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Chest physical therapy (chest PT) for adults over the age of fifty years suffering from acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Karla Krasnoselsky

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Gait Speed as a Fall Predictor for Elderly Patients in Rehabilitation, Kirsten Meyer

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The Effect of Intensive Suit Therapy Compared to Traditional Physical Therapy on Gross Motor Function in Children with Cerebral Palsy, Ashley Mildren

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Regaining Glenohumeral Motion lost to Adhesive Capsulitis…do Mobilizations Help?, David Peterson

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The Influence of Early Physical Therapy on Hospital Length of Stay, Cheryl Rudisile

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Is Kinesio Tape effective in relieving musculoskeletal pain in the geriatric population?, Shane Rushing

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Electrical Stimulation for Quadriceps Strengthening in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury, Amy Smith

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The Effect of Body-Weight Support Treadmill Training on Gait Speed for Patients with Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury, Erin Tagami

Submissions from 2009

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Comparison of treadmill training with partial body weight support to traditional over ground ambulation for gait training in acute and subacute patients post-stroke, Hui En Gilpin

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Effectiveness of the canalith repositioning procedure (CRP, or Epley maneuver) in treating adults with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Kristine Hostager and Alexandra Jakubowski

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The Effectiveness of an Aquatic Therapy Program in Improving Health Related Quality of Life for Children and Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy, Ashley Mildren