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Guide to Searching
A tool to help with structuring question into PICO format and with generating search terms
Searching Guide for Health Sciences
Contains suggestions on which resources to consult by question type, along with general principles to keep in mind when searching health sciences resources.
EBP Learning Resources
Guidance from APTA about accessing resources, as well as tips for finding evidence and contributing to evidence base of profession. Also includes videos and podcasts.
Evidence-Based Physical Therapy Guide
Created by UNC Libraries, this is a series of web pages that aim to educate reader about finding and appraising evidence for PT practice.
Evidence-Based Practice Tutorial
Created by University of Minnesota Library system, this is an interactive web based tutorial that aims toenhance understanding of formulating appropriate questions, selecting appropriate resources, and applying evidence.
JAMAevidence This link opens in a new window
Includes text of two books, education guides, glossary, calculators, worksheets, question wizards, weekly RSS feed of featured JAMA articles, compiled clinical scenarios, podcasts, and user-level customization features.
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 (or Population)
I - Intervention (or Prognostic Factor or Exposure)
C - Comparison (if there is one)
O - Outcome
For diagnosis questions, PICO can be translated this way: P (patient), I (test), C (gold standard test), and O (presence or absence of condition).
For prognosis questions, a variation of PICO works: P (patient), F (factors), O (outcome--eg., 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 literature search. Please ask for advice if you could use help getting started or building a strong search strategy. Also, there are guides and videos to review on the help page of this guide.
Look for the UILink button in your results, and select it to view full text options.
Good Places to Start
UpToDate This link opens in a new window
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.]
DynaMed This link opens in a new window
DynaMed Plus (Dynamic Medical Information System) is a quick and easy-to-use medical reference system designed for use at the point of care. It contains clinically organized summaries of thousands of topics and is updated several times daily from review of the research literature. Providing the most current, unbiased, evidence-based information to enable physicians to help them provide the best care possible to their patients, DynaMed is a useful resource in clinical, educational and research settings.
PubMed This link opens in a new window
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.
Embase This link opens in a new window
Due to higher security needed, EMBASE now requires a login for all exports.
[Help Searching Embase
]A biomedical and pharmaceutical database contains bibliographic records with abstracts from EMBASE (1974-present) and Medline (1966-present) deduplicated and searchable with EMTREE. (See the available Help Sheet
SPORTDiscus This link opens in a new window
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.
CINAHL This link opens in a new window
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.
PedRO This link opens in a new window
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).
Database developed by the APTA to improve integration of evidence into practice. Available only to members. Includes access to cases, evidence summaries, clinical practice guidelines, and tests and measures.
Levels of Evidence & Sources
AgeLine This link opens in a new window
AgeLine provides bibliographic coverage of social gerontology. 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.
Cochrane Library This link opens in a new window
The Cochrane Library is a collection of evidence-based medicine databases, providing clinicians reliable and current information on the effects of interventions in health care. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews are the gold standard of medical literature, providing comprehensive research analyses on a variety of medical treatments; DARE critiques other systematic reviews in a structured abstract format; CENTRAL provides a repository of clinical trial citations.
DynaMed This link opens in a new window
A point-of-care medical reference updated daily by a review of the medical literature. Organized in a structured note format, content is easy to navigate; both overall recommendations and specific study results are included; available for download to mobile device.
Natural Medicines This link opens in a new window
Natural Standard was founded by healthcare providers and researchers to provide information about evidence base for complementary and alternative therapies. Grades reflect the level of available scientific data for or against the use of each therapy for a specific medical condition.
OTseeker is a database that contains abstracts of systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials relevant to occupational therapy. Trials have been critically appraised and rated to assist with interpretation.
Rehabilitation Measures Database
Offers a search for identifying instruments to measure outcomes during all phases of rehabilitation. Contains summary information and links to more information about instruments.
National Rehabilitation Information Center provides freely available collection and search engine for disability research. Infolink is not configured to work with this resource.
Web of Science This link opens in a new window
[Help Searching Web of Science]A citation reference that includes Science Citation Index (1900-present), Social Science Citation Index (1900-present), Arts & Humanities Citation Index (1975-present), Book Citation Index- Science (2005-present), Book Citation Index- Social Sciences & Humanities (2005-present), and Medline, and links to Journal Citation Reports and EndNote web version.
If you experience trouble connecting to WoS from off-campus, try clearing your cache or changing browsers. Firefox seems to be best for this.
UpToDate This link opens in a new window
A point of care tool written and edited by a global community of 4,800 physicians. Contains over 9,000 topics in 19 specialties. Provides a grading system for recommendations that shows whether the recommendation is weak or strong and whether or not there is evidence to support the recommendation.
Defining Evidence Based Clinical Practice
Evidence-Based Clinical Practice (EBCP): 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.