Evidence in Rehabilitation Medicine: Between Facts and Prejudices

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2019 Feb;98(2):88-96. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001033.


The relationship between evidence-based medicine and rehabilitation medicine is somewhat controversial. The motto "there is no evidence in rehabilitation medicine" is at times a real burden on the shoulders of rehabilitation medicine. There are many ideas around evidence in rehabilitation medicine; some are correct, whereas others are probably prejudices only. In this article, it is first discussed what evidence is, its origin and meaning, giving some notes about Cochrane-arguably, the criterion standard of evidence medicine. The relationship between rehabilitation medicine and evidence is then faced, to try to understand why these difficulties exist; it is considered what rehabilitation medicine is, comparing rehabilitation medicine with the other "classical" medical specialties; the problems with evidence generation and the actual state of research in rehabilitation medicine. The implementation of evidence in rehabilitation medicine is also introduced, including a brief discussion of knowledge translation, what it is, and why it is important, paying particular attention to Cochrane Rehabilitation-the new global rehabilitation medicine body that is facing these issues. Finally, some solutions for evidence in rehabilitation medicine are proposed.

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine*