An Appropriate Way to Handle Patient Questions About Prognosis

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How do you recommend that a therapist approach a situation when a client or family member catches them off-guard by asking a question regarding prognosis when that therapist does not have a keen knowledge of the research right off hand?

Stephen C. Allison, PT, PhD, responds:

Most questions that are going to come to us about prognosis are going to hit us out of the blue. Obviously, we cannot be expected to have all of this knowledge in our heads or be able to access it immediately. If you work in a specialty practice, let’s say your a pediatric therapist and see lots of kids with Cerebral Palsy, I think you can probably anticipate 3 or 4 high volume questions of prognosis that almost every parent has a right to ask their therapist. So for those, I would suggest that instead of a journal club in your clinic, have a critical appraisal club. To read more, click here.

Looking to learn more about how to take an EBP approach to questions of prognosis? Check out this online course by Stephen Allison available on