Upfront Fitness strives to be an evidence based health and fitness service. But what does ‘evidence based’ actually mean?
Evidence based practice or EBP is the approach to healthcare (which personal training technically does or should fall under), that seeks to provide the best quality care for individuals based on the best current research and evidence. Sounds simple enough, right?
EBP first became important as a means of combating mere intuitive reasoning. While intuition is important (more on that later) people made assumptions on causes and effects that ultimately proved to be wrong and sometimes harmful.
Here’s an example from a 2013 Mayo clinic special article:
“Patients with coronary disease died of ventricular arrhythmias. Therefore, suppressing ventricular extrasystoles with antiarrhythmic agents should save lives. However, this is not true. Indeed, the opposite was found in an RCT (randomized control trial), and the death of that unfounded belief gave birth to EBM.”
(- The Necessity for Clinical Reasoning in the Era of Evidence-Based Medicine Allan D. Sniderman, MD; Kevin J. LaChapelle, MD; Nikodem A. Rachon, MA; and Curt D. Furberg, MD, PhD ª – 2013 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
So EBP is pretty important, right? The gold standard? Well actually it has some pretty big limitations. EBP can fall short by simply not providing enough answers to the questions being asked, because to do a study well, you need to be very specific in what you’re trying to investigate. Given that there are so many factors and variables that influence our health, there are actually lots of holes in the research. This can make bridging the gap between theory and practice quite difficult. So EBP interestingly enough must be complimented by what’s known as ‘clinical reasoning’. Clinical reasoning is the health professional taking their scope of practice and experience combined with EBP to make choices for patients and clients. This stands in stark contrast with intuition on its own (which is where we get many of our fad diets and detox drinks) but rather the research shapes the principles while clinical reasoning informs the practical application.
So evidence based practice done well is taking the best current research, understanding it in context, understanding how it does (and does not) practically apply to the real world and taking your wealth of experience together to come up with the best solutions for individuals.
A lot of the time programming and even nutritional advice is best guest, but it’s a very informed and guided guess.
I hope this helps to understand EBP and why it’s important that anyone you trust with your health has this approach to their practice.
Interested in working with Upfront? Feel free to contact us!
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