Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

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CPG Volunteer Information

Develop your network! Gain expertise in evidence-based practice, methods and research! Since 2006, the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy has published 11 Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) and have another 13 in development or planned for development. Creating a CPG is a very rigorous and yet rewarding process that requires engagement to have impact. We need your help to produce these valuable clinician resources. There are many levels of involvement: reviewing and selecting relevant articles, critically reviewing their methods and results, data extraction, and more. If you are interested, please send your resume/CV to icf@orthopt.org. Please indicate which role(s) you have interest in below. Training is available for these roles, and a completed conflict of interest form will be required. Physical therapists - research training/experience or residence/fellowship training a plus.

Article Reviewer:

  • Commitment: Level of time needed per review is about 15 hours over a month. Services not needed every month.
  • Term duration: 3 years with the option to renew for another term
  • Description: All CPGs are based on a systematic search of the available literature on the predetermined topic/research question. As a result many articles must be screened for relevance. Specific inclusion and exclusion criteria and training on their use are provided.
    • Step 1: reviewing the title and abstract of each article to see if it is relevant – this takes about 30sec-1min per title/abstract. All articles that are selected by the reviewers move on to the next step for further review.
    • Step 2: reviewing the article at the full text level – this takes about 3 - 10 mins per full text article. Reviewer casts a yes or no vote on the article based on it meeting the CPG criteria or not. All “yes” votes on the article move on to the next step of critical appraisal.
  • Article reviewing takes places using a user friendly online software called Covidence, so use of a computer and access to the Internet is needed.
  • No honorarium available, but contribution of work may be acknowledged in the CPG

Critical Appraiser:

  • Commitment: Time needed per review is about 15 hours over a month. Services not needed every month.
  • Term duration: 3 years with the option to renew for another term
  • Description: After the systematic review of the literature has taken place, and the full text articles that have met inclusion criteria have been identified then an assessment of the quality of the individual articles need to take place. The quality, trustworthiness, and relevance of the article to the CPG topic are evaluated by the appraiser using a critical appraisal tool or checklist. Teams of 2 will work independently to appraise articles and determine quality. Each individual article takes about 20 min to appraise.
    • Step 1: Level of evidence is assigned based on the study design using the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Levels of Evidence Table, assuming High Quality (eg, for intervention randomized clinical trial (RCT)) starts at Level I.
    • Step 2: Study quality is assessed using the critical appraisal tool, and the study is assigned 1 of 4 overall Quality Ratings based on the critical appraisal results. 
    • Step 3: Final Level of Evidence assignment is adjusted based on the overall quality rating according to Ortho Section procedures already defined for CPGs.
  • Basic Microsoft Word and Excel skills needed to complete the appraisal forms and table
  • No honorarium available, but contribution of work may be acknowledged in the CPG

Data Extractor:  

  • Commitment: Time needed per review is about 15 hours over a month; 20/30 min per article. Services not needed every month.
  • Term duration: 3 years with the option to renew for another term
  • Description: Extract relevant data from the full text/included articles into an excel grid (example of elements to fill into the grid are study design, sample size, characteristics, outcomes, etc).
    • Basic Excel skills needed to complete the data table •
    • No honoraria available, but contribution of work may be acknowledged in the CPG

Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
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