Clinical Outcomes Research


The goal of clinical outcomes research is to share patient-reported and clinician-rated outcomes measured during clinical practice. The research may be written from several perspectives including a patient population, lens of a singular outcome tool, comparison of tools, or outcomes of an entire clinic before and after the introduction of an intervention.

Title: Titles should be no longer than 15 words and the heading “title” does not need to appear in the submission.

Key Phrases/Content Focus: Choose 2-3 key phrases from the provided list that align with the content in the manuscript. In addition, you may choose to provide 1-2 key words relevant to your manuscript.

Abstract: A 300-word unstructured abstract should accompany your submission. The abstract should include an introductory statement, the clinical diagnosis, outcomes, and a clinical bottom line.

Video Abstract (Optional): A Video Abstract is an accompanying feature for research articles that should attract viewers to the scientific paper. The aim of the Video Abstract is to promote the highlights of your study. Therefore, it should include the main conclusions and results of the paper, but it should also add something to the written paper. Ideally, it should engage viewers by telling a story, for example by starting with a particular finding, a question, or a distinctive topic around which the story will unfold. Your emphasis must be on ways of capturing the attention of your audience, encouraging them to read your paper. The video can be recorded using any software and should be under 2 minutes in length. The video may include voice-over presentation, podcast, and video capture. The video abstracts will be posted on the manuscript homepage and social media.

Introduction: Describe a pathology (injury, illness, etc.) treated in your clinic, using the available literature. Characterize the condition, the effects of healthcare services, and typical outcomes relative to health related quality of life. Pose a purpose or clinical question statement as it relates to the data collected and presented. Hypothesize how these outcome measures can improve our understanding of the condition and/or population. 

Patients: Describe the patient population of interest (mean and frequency counts for age, sex, height, weight, and ethnicity). This will typically be like pathologies described in the introduction. In this section, describe how patients were included for the study. Discuss the length of injury since diagnosis, surgical interventions, etc.

Intervention: Describe the intervention used as part of normal clinical practice (e.g. therapeutic intervention, manual therapy, complementary medicine, prevention program, etc.  ). While therapeutic rehabilitation may have differed for your patients, settings in modalities, and other global decision making, explain in detail the phases or information included as part of your practice. This should include the purpose statement tying back the patient and intervention as it is linked to the outcome measures of interest.

Outcome Measures: Detail the use of outcome measures in the course of routine clinical care. Outcome measures should include both:

  • Clinician-based outcomes
    • Degree of injury, type of tear, classification of fracture, strength, ROM, posture
  • Patient-based outcomes
    • Pain, subjective sense of weakness, function, health, and HRQoL
    • Generic self-report
    • Specific self-report

For each outcome measure used, provide references regarding the reliability and validity of the tool, how you assessed and used the outcome measure (tools, training, etc.)

Results: Provide means for the outcome measures. Additional analysis may be used, but are not necessary. This may or may not include a sophisticated statistical analysis, yet should include tables and interpretations of changes. Consider using meaningful detectable change and individual change scores.

Discussion: Provide information regarding what these outcomes mean as they relate to the introduction and previous literature related to the patient population or intervention.

Clinical Application: Explain how this data can be used in clinical practice.

References: List all references used to support the case at the conclusion of the column. Please adhere to AMA guidelines.