A critical appraisal of “Noninvasive Treatment of Postpartum Diastasis Recti Abdominis: A Pilot Study”
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The purpose of this evidence-based assignment is to appraise a research article addressing the effectiveness of transverse rectus abdominis (TRA) focused exercise program and kinesiotaping on decreasing the inter-recti distance (IRD) in postpartum women diagnosed with diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA). I selected this topic based on personal interest in diastasis rectus abdominis and selected this article using the National Library of Medicine (NCBI): PubMed. I then analyzed for strengths and weaknesses within each section of the research article. Overall, the authors provided many strengths and attempts at reducing bias to help prove the validity of this pilot study. The methods were articulated clearly and provided many strengths for replication. The results were presented in a confusing way, yet the limitations were clearly stated, and the authors humbly acknowledged the need for further research into correlating IRD with the secondary outcomes of low back pain and pelvic dysfunction. From my critical appraisal, the most significant weaknesses would be the lack of a physiological explanation of DRA, a lack of articulation on how to perform each of the exercises as well as the focus on the results that were not significant. This pilot study did conclude that evidence exists for decreasing IRD in postpartum women with a TRA exercise protocol is significantly better than taping alone or no intervention at all, thus supporting my original clinical question. This clinical appraisal assists readers in forming their own opinion on reliability and validity. With further research, I have confidence in implementing a TRA focused exercise program for women postpartum diagnosed with DRA to decrease IRD and potentially increase their quality of life.