In health care, the growing accountability movement is definitively on the side of evidence-based practices. For good reasons, evidence-based practice is today a subject worthy of our time and attention.
Alain-Yvan Bélanger holds a bachelor’s degree (BSc) in Physiotherapy from University of Montreal, a master of science degree (MSc) in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University, and a doctoral degree (PhD) in Neurosciences from McMaster University. As a physical therapist, he had the privilege to work at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympic Games.
Dr. Bélanger began his academic career in 1976 as Assistant Professor. He is now a retired Professor from the Department of Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy program, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.
Dr. Bélanger has extensive experience as a teacher, researcher, consultant and author in the field of human neuromuscular physiology and therapeutic electrophysical agents. Dr. Bélanger has held the positions of Scientific Editor of the journal Physiotherapy Canada and President of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. He also served as Associate Editor in several journals. He has delivered multiple conferences at various national and international congresses. He has given continuing courses in the field of therapeutic electrophysical educations to Canadian and American physical therapists. His record of scholarship includes over 150 publications. He is the solo author of three textbooks entitled Evidence-Based Guide to Therapeutic Physical Agents, and Therapeutic Electrophysical Agents: Evidence Behind Practice, 2nd and 3rd editions. Dr Bélanger was awarded Le Prix d’ Excellence, by the Quebec Physiotherapists Licensing Board, for his book titled Evidence-Based Guide to Therapeutic Physical Agents. The second edition of Therapeutic Electrophysical Agents: Evidence Behind Practice has now been translated in Portuguese. Dr. Bélanger is the founder and President of Physiometrix Ltd., from where he now works as an author and consultant in the field of therapeutic electrophysical agents.
Early in my teaching career and for many years thereafter, I used several textbooks to help me with the content of my therapeutic electrophysical agent courses. Unfortunately, none of them really met my expectations. The bottom line was that they were poorly references leaving too much place for expert opinions, speculative views, personal biases and therapeutic recipes! Moreover, the focus of these books was on therapeutic efficacy (doing things right), not therapeutic effectiveness (doing the right thing). As a faculty, I could no longer trust the content of these textbooks as my prime source of evidence! This is when I decided to minimize my reliance on them and maximize my use of the human research peer-reviewed scientific literature to prepare my course material. Over the years, I built a massive scientific library on the practice of therapeutic electrophysical agents. A growing number of students and clinicians, wanting to know more about the science of EPAs, began to ask the following questions. What is the evidence behind the use of this particular electrophysical agent for this particular condition? Where can I find this evidence? Can I trust this source of evidence? This questioning was the main impetus that led me to decide to write a textbook on this subject. It was clear, right from the start that its foundation was going to rest on scientific evidence. This decision coincided with my reading of the landmark paper by Sackett and colleagues, published in 1996, on the definition and use of evidence-based medicine.
To write about something is one thing, but to have your manuscript published by a worldwide reputable publisher is another thing! In 1998, with a few chapters in my briefcase, I attended the APTA Annual Congress in Orlando with the objective of finding a publisher. While walking towards a coffee shop, after a full day of conferences, with my good friend Giovanni de Dominico, himself author, we suddenly stopped. Gion said to me: "Are you ready to be introduced to a senior book editor?" Of course, I immediately replied. He introduced me to Margaret Biblis, then Senior Editor at Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW). Fifteen minutes later, in our discussion, she asked me if I could send her a couple of chapters for review. A few weeks later, I signed my first contract with LLW. In 2002, my dream became a reality with the publication of my first textbook entitled Evidence Based Guide to Therapeutic Physical Agents.
Writing is the ultimate expression of freedom of thoughts and creation! To look at your book in its published form is extremely rewarding. To receive messages from, or to meet readers, who say how much they appreciate your book makes you rapidly forget the countless hours, days and months of work put to create it. It is the ultimate reward!
That the clock is always ticking! To deal with the multiple, and sometimes dreadful, production deadlines is very stressful! I find it particularly difficult to say: "Ok, this is it, this chapter is now finished!" I always think that if I had a few more days or weeks, I could still improve its presentation and content.
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