Paramedical research is a relatively new science discipline. For that reason, a large part of the research done by Ria Nijhuis-van der Sanden and her team consists of designing effective, clinically relevant, safe and efficient paramedical interventions. Knowledge on the underlying mechanisms of motor learning is used to increase the effect of remedial therapy in physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.
Paramedical interventions are only effective when the patient actually acts on the advice given. Therefore, an important theme in this research is patient perspective and realising shared decision making in order to reach compliance. This demands a change in behaviour in patients and professionals as well as insight into the factors that either stimulate or hinder the behavioural changes needed.
The role of the patient does not only play a crucial part in the consulting room. Another important theme in this research is the patient's role in quality improvement in care. Does the care actually correspond to the needs of the patient? Does the patient actually have a say in choices made in healthcare? Are the outcome measures used actually the right ones? How efficient is quality judgement in care? And how do you subsequently weigh the value of paramedical care?
Prof.dr. Ria Nijhuis-van der Sanden is head of paramedical research within IQ healthcare.