Physical Therapy

New Research Guides Coming January 2015!

**As of January 2015, this research guide will be available from Please update your bookmarks.


Academic Search Complete Restricted Resource Resource contains images Some full text available
A comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary database with more than 7,400 full-text periodicals, including more than 6,300 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to the full-text titles, Academic Search Complete offers indexing and abstracts for more than 11,500 journals and a total of more than 12,000 publications including monographs, reports, and conference proceedings.  Content goes back as far as 1887, with the majority of full-text titles in .PDF format.

Integrates a wide variety of high-quality resources for the study of physical therapy:  textbooks, images, animations and videos, drug information, lectures, references to primary literature, and more.  Search by keywords or browse the content by core topic, modality, or therapeutic goal.  Students can choose practice tests based on selected textbooks or on the National Physical Therapy Examination.  Orthopedic Case Studies provide yet another avenue for learning.

CINAHL Restricted Resource Some full text available
This expanded version of CINAHL, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, indexes more than 4,500 journals as well as health care books, nursing dissertations, selected conference proceedings, standards of practice, educational software, and audiovisuals.   Besides nursing, subject areas include physician assistant literature, public health, emergency services, medical records, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health, social work, and many others.  CINAHL Plus contains more than two million records dating back to 1937.   Full text is available for 772 journals, and cited references are searchable for more than 1,300.

CIRRIE: Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange 
The CIRRIE Database of International Rehabilitation Research currently contains over 100,000 citations of international rehabilitation research published between 1990 and the present.

Cochrane Library Restricted Resource Resource contains audio Some full text available
A collection of six databases that provide high-quality evidence to support clinical care:  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews; Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Methodology Register, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Health Technology Assessment Database, and the NHS Economic Evaluation Database.  A seventh database provides information about the groups that comprise The Cochrane Collaboration.  The databases are updated either monthly or quarterly.  Additional features of the Library include an online journal club and podcasts. [Note: this collection no longer includes the ACP Journal Club, which is now a monthly feature of the Annals of Internal Medicine. That site can be accessed here.]

Hooked on Evidence
The APTA Hooked on Evidence Website represents a grassroots effort to develop a database containing current research evidence on the effectiveness of physical therapy interventions. The database contains extractions of articles relevant to physical therapy interventions. APTA Hooked on Evidence is now freely available to the general public. Use of the database requires establishment of a free personal login account. To access an article in PubMed from Hooked on Evidence, it is best to copy the PubMed ID (PMID), then open PubMed through Gibson D. Lewis Library's website, and paste or type the PMID into the PubMed search bar. This will ensure that you get access to the full-text if it is available as part of the library's subscriptions.

Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) Some full text available
Produced by the Centre for Evidence-Based Physiotherapy at Australia's George Institute for International Health, PEDro contains citations and abstracts for more than 15,000 randomized trials, systematic reviews, and clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy. Trials are rated for quality. Records are global in scope and date back to 1929. Links to full text are provided where available. The database is updated monthly, and users can register to receive e-mail alerts for nine different areas of therapy.

PubMed Some full text available

PubMed is the National Library of Medicine's interface to the MEDLINE database and to citations from additional sources such as online books, journals not selected for MEDLINE, and articles not yet published. PubMed contains approximately 20 million citations, dating from the late 1940s to the present. It is updated daily and covers the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and preclinical sciences.  Most records have abstracts, and links to many free, full-text articles are provided.  PubMed also has useful tools and features such as Clinical and Special Queries, a Citation Matcher, and links to related articles.

REHABDATA Some full text available
REHABDATA, produced by the National Rehabilitation Information Center, is the leading literature database on disability and rehabilitation. The database describes over 70,000 documents covering physical, mental, and psychiatric disabilities, independent living, vocational rehabilitation, special education, assistive technology, law, employment, and other issues as they relate to people with disabilities. The collection spans 1956 to the present.

SPORTDiscus Restricted Resource Some full text available
SPORTDiscus is the leading research database covering sports, exercise, fitness, sports medicine, and other sports-related disciplines. Subject coverage also includes biomechanics, kinesiology, occupational health and therapy, physical therapy, and public health.  It contains more than 1.5 million records, including references to 22,000 theses and dissertations and articles written in 60 different languages.

Scopus Restricted Resource
Scopus is the largest citation and abstract database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources.  It contains 46 million records, spanning 1823 to the present and covering nearly 19,500 titles from more than 5,000 publishers worldwide.  In addition to journals, 95% of which are peer-reviewed, Scopus indexes conference proceedings, book series, trade publications, and patent records.  In addition, it indexes 375 million scientific web pages.  It includes 100% of the titles in MEDLINE, yet more than half of its content originates in countries other than the United States.  A number of value-added features enhance the research process for Scopus users.  The Scopus Alerts Mobile App is available for users of iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices. 

Selected Websites
American Physical Therapy Association
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is an individual membership professional organization representing more than 80,000 member physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students of physical therapy. APTA seeks to improve the health and quality of life of individuals in society by advancing physical therapist practice, education, and research, and by increasing the awareness and understanding of physical therapy's role in the nation's health care system.

Cochrane Collaboration
Founded in 1993, this international not-for-profit organization produces content for the Cochrane Library and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Executive Council of Physical and Occupational Therapy Examiners
The Executive Council of Physical and Occupational Therapy Examiners (ECPOTE) is the governing agency for the licensing of physical therapists in Texas. This site offers licensing information, continuing education, a newsletter, and other resources relevant to Texas physical therapists.
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy develops and administers the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for both physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in 53 jurisdictions – the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These high-stakes exams assess the basic entry-level competence for first time licensure or registration as a PT or PTA within the 53 jurisdictions.
National Guideline Clearinghouse
Searchable site offering structured summaries of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.  Allows for side-by-side comparison of similar guidelines from different organizations.  Provides citations to each guideline’s original source and links to electronic full-text if possible. Sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in partnership with the American Medical Association and the American Association of Health Plans.
APTA's Outpatient Physical Therapy Improvement in Movement Assessment Log (OPTIMAL) is an instrument that measures difficulty and self-confidence in performing 21 movements that a patient/client needs to accomplish in order to do various functional activities. The site is free, but any use of OPTIMAL must include a citation that recognizes APTA's ownership of OPTIMAL (instructions are on the website under 'Permissions'). 
Provides links to nearly 30,000 items from about 70 sources for evidence-based medicine. Includes links to items found in other sources listed in this guide along with links to articles from high-quality journals such as JAMA and BMJ.

Texas Physical Therapy Association
The Texas Physical Therapy Association is the representative body for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Physical Therapy Students in the state of Texas. Its members support the Physical Therapy profession and represent all areas of practice from Orthopedics to Education.
For More Help
Contact the Lewis Library Reference Office using one of the following options:
  • Stop by LIB-222, on the main floor of the Library, between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday.
  • Call us at 817-735-2070 or toll-free at 800-687-5302.  We will try to help you over the phone, or you can schedule an appointment for an individual consultation with a librarian. 
  • Use the Ask a Librarian form.  Librarians will respond during weekday hours, normally by the next day.
You may also want to visit the Database Tutorials & Help page for database instruction and information about how to retrieve journal articles.

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