Sources of Research Information

Peer Reviewed Journals


Sources of Research Information

There are numerous resources available to life care planners, but professionals need to know where information exists and how it may be accessed.


Peer Reviewed Journals

Peer-reviewed journals accept submissions based upon a “blind” critique of the contributor’s article. In a sense, the peer review process serves as a quality control measure to minimize the distribution of misinformation based upon poorly designed research or theoretical assertions. Peer reviewers are typically experts in a specified field of practice charged with the responsibility of evaluating the scientific merit of a paper or research report.

For this reason, life care planners should rely primarily upon information appearing in peer-reviewed journals. This is not to say that the findings are “correct,” or that the studies included in these publications are as well-designed as they could be. Simply, in order to have been included in the journal, the article was subjected to a review of peers within the field.

There are many valuable journals and, depending upon a professional’s background and issues specific to individual patients, some publications may be of greater use than others. The following journals are suggested resources:

Journals of Rehabilitation and Psychology:

Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin

Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling

Rehabilitation Psychology

Journal of Rehabilitation Administration

Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment Bulletin

Journal of Job Placement and Development


Journal of Counseling and Development

Journal of Counseling Psychology

Measurement and Education in Counseling and Development

Journal of Disability Policy and Studies

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

Psychological Bulletin

Teaching Exceptional Children

Journal of Life Care Planning


Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development

The Case Manager

The Rehabilitation Professional


Psychology, Public Policy, and Law

Journals of Medicine and Allied Health:

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Journal of the American Medical Association

Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

British Medical Journal

Annals of Long-Term Care

Home Health Care Consultant


Rehabilitation Nursing

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation



American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


The Clinical Journal of Pain

Spinal Cord

American Journal of Occupational Therapy

SCI Nursing

Journal of Pediatrics

Physical Therapy

Respiratory Research

Health Psychology

Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics

Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine

Ear & Hearing

Journal of Occupational Medicine

Journal of Physical Therapy Science

Journal of Neurorehabilitation

Locating Journals of Interest

In most cases, life care planners will need to access peer-reviewed journals through the nearest university library. Journals are typically located in the reference section of the library and cannot be borrowed for long-term use, so most volumes will be available for review and photocopying. Most library systems allow members of the community to utilize reference sources, though some may require an identification badge or security check.

Many publishers have begun to transmit issues electronically or provide website access for those who subscribe to the journal. Subscriptions vary widely in cost, beginning at approximately $25 per year and escalating into the hundreds of dollars per year. In some cases, a journal subscription is included as a benefit of association membership. For example, a subscription to the Journal of Life Care Planning is included in the annual membership fee of the International Association of Life Care Planners.

Many journals provide the table of contents and/or the abstracts for articles appearing in recent issues. There are also journals providing full text of articles free of charge, or at a nominal fee, online. Networking with other planners and practitioners, attending seminars and continuing education workshops, and joining professional listserve discussion groups may provide additional sources of useful information.



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Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine. (July 1999) Outcomes Following Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: Clinical Practice Guidelines for Health-Care Professionals: Paralyzed Veterans of America.

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Life Care Planning Education & Research Vocational Analysis