Allen H. Nelson


Introduction: The purpose of this article is to examine selected issues related to the conduct of research within the profession of orofacial myology. This article is also intended to summarize several of the research issues presented at the 1987 International Association of Orofacial Myology convention in Chicago, Illinois.
Orofacial myology, like many specialties, is primarily a clinical field. Historically there has been a tendency for practitioners to avoid conducting research. An underlying philosophy might suggest that practitioners should provide clinical treatment while research should be conducted within the academic and laboratory settings. After all, those in the academic environment are more likely to be trained in the skills and methods of conducting research. To a large degree this is a valid assumption. However, a case can be made for the practicing therapist also to be involved in research for the following reasons: (a) The therapist has access to the client population. (b) The therapist can improve clinical skills through systematic evaluation of treatment protocols. (c) The therapist is the eventual caregiver.