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Before purchasing a product, PTs and PTAs should ask a lot of questions. Some may be obvious. Others aren't. Here's what PTs, PTAs, and suppliers say are the questions to ask—and the answers to listen for—to help ensure you're making the right decision.

Key Questions

Evidence, Efficacy, and Performance

1

What evidence can you show me that your product functions and performs as advertised? If this device measures some aspect of my patient's progress, can you provide references from the peer-reviewed literature that address both measurement reliability (ie, the device measures real change rather than changes caused by extraneous factors) and measurement validity (ie, the device actually measures what it is intended to measure).

Physical therapists (PTs) should not assume that all products perform and function as promised. Ask for evidence of performance, because you don't want to be disappointed after the purchase. You want to be well informed of the product's true capabilities. Dig in and ask for proof.

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