Research Article Discussion Club at Nationwide Children’s Hospital [Research Perch]

Posted:Monday, November 25, 2019

Learn more about the enriching possibilities of participating in a research article discussion club in this podcast interview with guest Deborah Zerkle, LMT, CA, CIMT, CPMT, from the Massage Therapy Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), Columbus, Ohio.

NCH requires MTs on staff that work three days or more to participate in Evidence Based Practice (EBP) meetings 3-4 times a year. Research topics are topics are chosen by the therapists facilitating the EBP meeting, and the MT team is expected to read an article in preparation for discussion at the meeting.

The therapists create an outline of the article to highlight relevant information, condensing longer research articles into an easily readable one page format using a matrix borrowed from the Occupational Therapy discipline. “Once we gather research and information, then we can apply it to creating better outcomes for our patients, and that drives us forward” says Zerkle. As a result of learning new research insights, protocol, processes and/or modalities may change.

Zerkle speaks to the importance of sharing information about massage therapy research with those in other disciplines, as well as borrowing research insights from those other disciplines. “If you are looking up something, don’t be discouraged if you can’t find anything under massage therapy; we look under physical therapy, we look under occupational therapy, so there are other disciplines we are able to pull information from.”

The need for massage therapy research is great. Equally important is the need for research-literate massage therapists who are able to find, evaluate, and interpret research findings to better serve clients. Consider implementing a research article discussion club with other massage therapists if you are in a position to do so.

Want to learn more about how to put research into practice? The Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF)  and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) are excited to offer a free three-part Research Webinar Series to help you learn how to find quality research and engage it in your practice. Enjoy all three of the free webinars here:


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