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LIBRARY GUIDE TO PT 8800 - Evidence Based Clinical Practice

Topic or Subject searching
Use CINAHL headings Tool to search the database for all items on a specific topic or to determine proper search terms.

Example: breast cancer > Use: Breast Neoplasms (MM "Breast Neoplasms") View Using CINAHL headings tutorial.

SportsDiscus has the Thesaurus tool.   DE "BREAST -- Cancer"

*View tutorial on using CINAHL headings

Topics and Search strategies
Question: What are the effects of therapeutic ultrasound in relieving pain for patients with chronic low back pain?

P= patients with chronic low back pain     
I=  therapeutic ultrasound     
C= placebo ultrasound     
O= pain relief and disability improvment

– picking key concepts from a topic =     “lower back pain” AND ultrasound AND therapy

CINAHL headings -  "lower back pain" USE= "low back pain"  ultrasound Use: Ultrasonography

Searching for Literature
Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff CINAHL Plus with Full-Text is a comprehensive and highly-authoritative database for research in nursing and health sciences.  Coverage: 1981-present How to Export to Refworks

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff SPORTDiscus Topics include physical fitness, exercise, sports medicine, kinesiology, biomechanics, movement science, physical therapy, rehabilitation, nutrition, exercise physiology, sport psychology. How to export to RefWorks

EBP databases:

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff Cochrane Library  A collection of databases that contain evidence for healthcare decision-making. Includes systematic review abstracts, technology assessments, economic evaluations and individual clinical trials.   How to export to Refworks.

Unrestricted Resource PEDro
The Physiotherapy Evidence Database provides information on "randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy."

Unrestricted Resource PubMed (MEDLINE) The National Library of Medicine's free interface for MEDLINE, the premier database for biomedical journal citations. How to export to RefWorks

Pubmed Health Reviews
of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports

Learning tools to foster evidence based practice in physical therapy. (Limited to paid APTA members)

**View list of all Physical Therapy databases or database list by subject.

Additional online EBP & PT resources
  • National Guideline Clearinghouse is a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
  • TRIP Database is a clinical search tool designed to allow health professionals to rapidly identify the highest quality clinical evidence for clinical practice.
  • The NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries (formerly PRODIGY) are a reliable source of evidence-based information and practical 'know how' about the common conditions managed in primary care. (UK based)
  • APTA site The website for the American Physical Therapy Association which provides members online access to it's journal and news magazines.
Library Contact
Picture: Julia Rodriguez

Julia Rodriguez
Associate Professor / Nursing, Health Sciences & Scholarly Communications Librarian

Schedule a research consultation (Fall & Winter only)
PICO Method & EBP
Asking a good question is fundamental to the evidence-based decision-making process. A "well-built" question should include four parts, PICO stands for (P) patient, problem or population, (I) intervention, (C) comparison and (O) outcome(s).

EBP Steps:
  • Problem Identification: Converting information needs into an answerable question
  • Finding the Evidence: Finding, with maximum efficiency, the best evidence with which to answer the question
  • Critique: Determining the merit, feasibility and utility of evidence
  • Summarize the Evidence: Combining findings from all evidence to make a practice recommendation
  • Application to Practice: Incorporating the recommendation into a clinical setting or organization
  • Evaluation – Determining the effective of the practice over time
EBP Quality of Evidence Chart


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