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Research and evidence informed practice in allied and scientific health

The Allied and Scientific Health Office (ASHO) aims to enable excellence in allied health research, which is crucial to delivering health care and evidence-informed practice to South Australians.

Current research and evidence informed practice

Further information

For further information on evidence based practice is also available on the Standards and guidelines page.




South Australian Allied Health Research Forum 2019 – Beyond the Brilliant idea; Planning, Doing and Applying Research in Clinical Practice

The Allied and Scientific Health Office is pleased to announce the inaugural South Australian Allied Health Research Forum to be held on

Date: Thursday 23 May 2019
Time: 8.30 am to 4.30 pm
Location: Royal Adelaide Hospital.

This forum is an opportunity for allied health professionals with an interest in research and quality improvement to hear about research projects being undertaken by allied health clinicians within SA Health and learn about pathways and resources to embed research within allied health practice.

Come along to hear from experienced and emerging allied health clinical researchers within SA Health, alongside keynote presentations by South Australian leaders in clinical research, knowledge translation and allied health evidence generation.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Ms Wendy Keech, Health Translation SA
  • Fiona Smithson, The Hospital Research Foundation
  • Prof Lorimer Moseley, University of South Australia
  • Prof Alison Kitson, Flinders University
  • Prof Simon Beecham, University of South Australia.

The intent of the forum is to build upon existing research endeavours and to inspire all allied health clinicians to embed research, knowledge translation and evidence informed practice into routine allied health practice across the continuum of clinical settings and professions.

Attendance is free for SA Health staff however registration is required as places are strictly limited. For further information please contact HealthAlliedandScientificHealth@sa.gov.au or visit Eventbrite to register.

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Clinical Excellence: Strategic Directions for Building Allied Health Research and Translation Capacity

The purpose of the Clinical Excellence: Strategic Directions for Building Allied Health Research and Translation Capacity is to be visionary in its approach to research and evidence informed practice, to embed and sustain clinical research and the translation of research directly into clinical practice as recognised components of core business at all levels of allied health. This will enable provision of improved health care and health outcomes for individuals and the population. This strategy proposes to ensure that research is embedded and sustained in all health services and by all allied health professionals and is aligned with the Research Focus 2020 (SA Health) (PDF 130KB) and SA Health Strategic Plan 2017 to 2020. The strategy aims to:

  • Influence and guide allied health directors, line managers, heads of departments and staff in the clinical application of research and evidence-informed practice;
  • Co-ordinate and integrate research structures and systems and promote continued steps to build the application of allied health research to clinical practice; and
  • Promote clinical research excellence as a driver of better health and better health care for all South Australians.

The discussion document Clinical
Excellence, Developing Strategic Directions to Build Allied Health Research and
Translation Capacity (PDF1MB)  written in consultation with the Allied Health Research Reference Group is now available.

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International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE)

The International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE) works locally, nationally and globally to create new knowledge and translate evidence into safe, quality health care. iCAHE partners with researchers, clinicians, educators, policy makers, government, industry, professional and consumer groups and the broader community. 

iCAHE provides a wide range of tools, services and resources to support health practitioners, particularly the members of the Allied and Scientific Health Office of the Department for Health and Wellbeing, South Australia, in translating evidence into policy and practice. The following is a summary of the services we provide to ASHO members:

  1. Free one-hour Professional Development courses in Evidence based practice and Research Methodology
  2. Free resources including
  1. Journal club (request via iCAHEjournalclub@unisa.edu.au)
      • Training for facilitators (face to face or online via virtual classroom).
      • Support in
        1. developing a search strategy, searching for the most relevant evidence to underpin quality improvement activities, evidence implementation into practice considering local context
        2.  critical appraisal of the evidence, with a guide to local context applicability and decision making
  1. Statistical analysis assistance and support (request via iCAHE@unisa.edu.au
  2. Rapid reviews of the literature (request via ASHO office) 
      • A 12-week rapid review process can be conducted for those needing evidence to underpin their practice or policies
  1. Masterclasses (announced in the iCAHE website) 
      • iCAHE runs annual masterclasses to provide best practice updates in allied health service delivery models, quality and safety, evaluation strategies and measures of accountability

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Health Consumers Alliance

International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE) is visionary with its partnership with Healthcare Consumers Alliance (HCA). Consumer / patient engagement is a critical element in evidence-based practice, and is required in Australia for health service accreditation, and while it is attracting increasing community attention worldwide, there is very little evidence regarding the role of the Allied Health professional in translating this intent into effective practice.

iCAHE aims to make a difference to allied health interpretation of the evidence based practice components by focusing on the consumer aspects. This will be achieved by partnering with consumers, identifying exemplar allied health clinician / consumer activities (lived patient experiences) and attempting to understand consumer perspectives of healthcare consumption (Grimmer 2014).

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Professional Certificate in Health Consumer Engagement

This Certificate resulted from collaboration between the iCAHE, University of South Australia and Health Consumers Alliance SA. It provides an opportunity to learn about health consumer engagement in the context of best evidence research and implementation. The Health Consumers Engagement Professional Certificate consists of two courses; Best Evidence, Policy and Practise for Health, and Application of Best Evidence in Health.

More information can be found via the University of South Australia.

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Allied Health Evidence Database

The Allied and Scientific Health Office has collated a database of resources providing links and summary information for evidence related to Allied Health practice. The database includes research papers, clinical guidelines, practice frameworks, conference presentations and other resources which can be used to inform clinical practice.

Resources can be filtered by Profession, to see only discipline-specific information, or can be sorted by clinical area or by operational theme (such as scope of practice, AH led services, AH extended hours services and so on). The excel table format allows users to sort and filter the resources to see only relevant resources and instructions for these functions can be found within the document.

For further information, corrections or additions to the resource list, please contact the ASHO at HealthAlliedandScientificHealth@sa.gov.au

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Clinical audits

The ongoing partnership with iCAHE , offers Allied and Scientific Health Professionals in SA Health opportunities to undertake workplace based clinical audits on behalf of their department, clinical service or advisory group with research support. Information about previously conducted audits can be reviewed on the iCAHE Audits & Evaluations page.

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ASPIRE for quality

The ASPIRE for quality is an evidence-based tool developed by the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence to evaluate clinical service performance in South Australian Local Health Networks.

The development, implementation and pilot evaluation of the ASPIRE was funded by SA Health's Allied Health and Scientific Office.

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Clinical Guidelines Clearing House

SA Health Allied Health Professionals are provided with opportunities to extend their skills through access to the iCAHE website and Clinical Guideline Clearinghouse, training in evidence-based practice, journal club participation, Masterclasses and mentoring for staff publications. A series of Masterclass workshops have been run by iCAHE for AHPs across the themes of Evidence Based Practice and Outcome Measures and use of the iCAHE Outcomes Calculator.

The latest information is available through the iCAHE website.

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