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Physical Therapy   Tags: allied_health_disciplines, physical_therapy  

An introduction to UI Libraries resources pertaining to Physical Therapy
Last Updated: Aug 20, 2014 URL: http://guides.lib.uiowa.edu/physicaltherapy Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Finding Articles and Evidence Print Page

Guide to Searching


What is Evidence Based Practice?


Evidence-Based Practice (EBP): Evidence-based practice is the judicious use of the best research evidence (found in health sciences literature), clinical expertise (what the health care provider knows) and patient values (what the patient wants and believes) to create a plan of action regarding patient care.  Evidence-based practice is an umbrella term that covers evidence-based medicine, evidence-based dentistry, evidence-based public health, evidence-based nursing and etc.

Using PICO to Formulate Clinical Questions

PICO is a mnemonic used to describe the four elements of a good clinical question. It stands for:

P - Patient/Problem/Population
I - Intervention
C - Comparison
O - Outcome

For Diagnosis, you may consider using:

P - Patient
I - Test
C - Standard
O - Outcome

For Prognosis:

P- Patient
F - Factors
O - Outcome (ex. Mortality)

Here are links for more information.


Using our Databases to Locate Articles

The databases listed on this page are excellent places to start a PT literature search. Please schedule a consultation if you have a specific research topic, and you would like some advice on either getting started or building a good search strategy.

 Look for the InfoLink button in your results, and select it to view full text options.


Good Places to Start

  • PubMed  Icon  Icon  Icon
    Large available citation database covering all biomedical literature, a free service from the National Library of Medicine. Includes over 5000 peer-reviewed journals, including most PT journals. Includes MEDLINE, which refers to all citations organized by the Medical Subject Heading system (MeSH).
    Access from library page to connect to full text articles via Infolink.
  • CINAHL Plus  Icon  Icon  Icon
    Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature: Includes over 3000 journals for nursing and 17 allied health disciplines. Primary coverage is peer-reviewed journals with studies and review articles; also includes dissertations, drug reports, conference proceedings. Includes most PT journals.
  • SPORTDiscus  Icon  Icon
    Includes a few unusual titles, especially in the areas of disability and adaptive sports, sports medicine, kinesiology, biomechanics, and the psychology of sport; also contains over 22,000 theses and dissertations.
  • PedRO  
    PEDro is a free database of randomised trials, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy. All trials included are independently appraised, in an effort to supply users with sufficient information to guide clinical practice. Produced the Centre for Evidence-Based Physiotherapy at The George Institute for Global Health (Australia).
  • Hooked on Evidence
    Database developed by APTA to improve integration of evidence into practice. Available only to members. It includes extractions of articles related to physical therapy interventions that have been entered into the database by volunteer contributors. The database does not include practice guidelines, systematic reviews, articles on diagnostic and prognostic tests, or outcome measures.

Evidence Pyramid

These are some of the publication types that are associated with higher levels of evidence. You may want to start at the top of the pyramid and work your way down.

Publication Types by Question Type: Different study types are suited to different questions. For example:

Most Clinical Questions: Meta-analyses, systematic reviews
Therapy: Randomized Controlled Trial
Diagnosis: Prospective, blind controlled trial compared to gold standard
Prognosis: Cohort study, case control, case series/case report

Jennifer DeBerg

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Jennifer DeBerg
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319 335 8554
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Office Hours:
Daily, hours variable. My office is on 2nd floor of Hardin Library in commons west, room 207 f. You can always stop by to see if I am available, but best to make appointment in advance.

Additional Databases

  • DynaMed  
      Icon  Icon
    DynaMed (Dynamic Medical Information System) is a quick and easy-to-use medical reference system designed for use at the point of care. DynaMed contains clinically organized summaries of nearly 1,800 topics and is updated daily from review of the research literature. This means that the reference information is always up-to-date and does not require new editions. DynaMed is a useful resource in clinical, educational and research settings. [From: About Dynamed]
  • Cochrane Library  
    The Cochrane Library contains high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making. It includes reliable evidence from Cochrane and other systematic reviews, clinical trials, and more. Cochrane reviews bring you the combined results of the world's best medical research studies, and are recognised as the gold standard in evidence-based healthcare.
  • AgeLine  
    Produced by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), AgeLine provides bibliographic coverage of social gerontology, i.e. the study of aging in psychological, health-related, social, and economic contexts. Also covered are the delivery of health care to the older population and its associated costs and policies, and consumer, employment, and public policy issues. Of interest to researchers, health professionals, service planners, policymakers, employers, older adults and their families, and consumer advocates.
  • Web of Science  
  • OT Seeker  
  • Natural Standard  
    Provides evidence-based information about complementary and alternative therapies. It contains three sub-databases: Herbs and supplements, condition center, and alternative modalities. For each therapy covered by Natural Standard, a research team gathers scientific data and expert opinions. Validated rating scales are used to evaluate the quality of available evidence. Information is incorporated into comprehensive monographs which are designed to facilitate clinical decision making. All monographs undergo blinded editorial and peer review prior to inclusion in Natural Standard databases.
  • National Guidelines Clearinghouse  
  • PubMed Clinical Queries  
  • UpToDate  
    UpToDate is a practical clinical information service designed to provide instant access to just the information you need. It is written by a recognized faculty of experts who each address a specific clinical issue. They synthesize the latest evidence and best practices and provide detailed recommendations. [Access to UpToDate is co-funded by the Carver College of Medicine, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and Hardin Library for the Health Sciences.]

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