Part 1 - Transforming the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy

Posted By: Cynthia Michelle Chiarello Research & Knowledge,

Reflections from New Editor-In-Cheif Cynthia Chiarello

A new team of leaders in women’s, men’s, and pelvic health physical therapy has united to strengthen and innovate the top-rated membership benefit of the Section on Women’s Health: the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy.

Helming the revamp is freshly minted Editor-in-Chief Cynthia Chiarello, PT, PhD, of Columbia University. Here, she talks with Interel-AMG Account Executive Kristin Clarke, who consults to SOWH, about the transformation process and the status of evidence-based research in this specialized area of physical therapy.

SOWH: Where do you see the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy going in the next two to three years?

Chiarello: I am honored to be in the company of the talented group of individuals who make up the current editorial board for the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy. As the scientific voice for the Section on Women’s Health, we are dedicated to enhancing the dissemination of scholarship and providing high-quality evidence for practice.

We are working together for the first time and will be meeting this summer for our first strategic planning meeting for the journal. We have much to discuss as we plan directions while maintaining the JWHPT‘s standards of research excellence.

When SOWH was born 40 years ago, the earliest members noted that little to no research was being conducted in the areas of pelvic and abdominal physical therapy. It was a milestone for SOWH when enough evidence-based information was available to allow the Section newsletter to evolve into a peer-reviewed journal. How would you describe the state of physical therapy research today, particularly in our specialty field, and what forces or trends do you think are influencing it? 

Despite the fact that it has been 20 years since research funding by the National Institutes of Health was required to include women, there is a still a large gender gap in biomedical research. Women remain underrepresented in all domains of health-related research impacting societal concerns and health care policy.

Viewing physical therapy research in this larger context, it is vital to maintain high standards of quality research regarding the health care needs of women. JWHPT is an enthusiastic proponent of advancing the science of women’s and men’s health, and we encourage authors to submit their research to the journal in accordance with this mission.

What can SOWH members do to accelerate and support progress in pelvic and abdominal PT research?

Physical therapists who would like a career in research may want to consider an advanced research degree such as a PhD or EdD to acquire the suitable training to conduct research. Clinicians interested in participating in research might want to consider partnering with experienced researchers who can mentor them through the research process.

AUTHOR: Cynthia Chiarello, PT, PhD, MS, is assistant professor of clinical rehabilitation & regenerative medicine at Columbia University Medical Center Program in Physical Therapy. Kristin Clarke, CAE, is an Interel-AMG account executive consulting to SOWH. The association management firm manages all operations for SOWH.