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Not Sure Where to Start?

Check out tutorials and webinars.

Learn how to create email or RSS alerts and keep up-to-date with your topic of interest for all databases.



The Canadian Physiotherapy Association has partnered with OrthoEvidence™ to provide members with free unrestricted access to OrthoEvidence™.

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CPA members now have full access to Physiopedia Plus, a platform for expanding your clinical knowledge and skills through discussion, ebooks, videos, evidence updates and more.


PubMed is the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s free, web searchable MEDLINE database – the premier international index to biomedical research covering nearly 5,000 journals and indexing 16 million citations from 1949 to present. PubMed has links to free full-text, and is a good database if you’re new to literature searching or need a quick search as it’s considered to be “Google-like”.


PEDro is the freely available Physiotherapy Evidence Database. It has been developed to give rapid access to bibliographic details and abstracts of randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy. Most trials on the database have been rated for quality to help you quickly discriminate between trials which are likely to be valid and interpretable, and those which are not. This is a great free resource for seeing the level and strength of evidence for physiotherapy articles. PEDro provides links to freely-available full-text journals.


The Cochrane Library is an internationally recognized online journal that provides clinicians, researchers, policy-makers and consumers with the best single source of reliable evidence about the effects of health care interventions (prevention, treatment and rehabilitation) and health care policies on the health system. Cochrane Reviews are not freely available at this time.


REHAB+ is McMaster University’s Health Information Research Unit and offers a free searchable database of the best evidence from the health care literature, an email alerting system, and links to selected evidence-based resources. While this database is small, it focuses on articles that have been reviewed for research quality, relevance and newsworthiness. It includes links to freely-available full-text articles.

Highly recommended: setting up an Alert to get updated information on your topic of interest!

CIRRIE is a database of international rehabilitation research from the University of Buffalo.

PubMed Health is a database on clinical effectiveness, including Cochrane summaries.

Grey Matters is a tool to help you search for health grey literature (i.e., websites, rather than journal articles).

Tutorials and Webinars


Evidence-informed practice in four easy steps! These short videos will guide you through the process of asking a clinical question and searching for the evidence. Developed by PABC for OPA and PABC members.

Step 1: How do I ask a clinical question in a way that gets a better answer?

Tutorial 1: Getting the best answer to a clinical question: Frame it as ‘PICO’ (3:20)

Step 2:  How do I search for and acquire the evidence?

Tutorial 2: What is a database? (2:16)

Tutorial 3: Which database should I use? (6)

Tutorial 4: How do I choose keyword search terms? (5:13)

Tutorial 5: How do I choose index (controlled vocabulary or MeSH) search terms for better results? (3:58)

Tutorial 6: Understanding levels of evidence: What are levels of evidence? (5:26)

Tutorial 7: Understanding levels of evidence: Using PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database) (5:38)

Tutorial 8: Understanding levels of evidence: How to limit your Medline & CINAHL searches by level of evidence (5:09)

Step 3: How do I apply the evidence to practice?


Watch these webinars on how to conduct literature searches and find journal articles in the shortest time possible.

How to Out-Google Your Friends [30:00]

An introduction to the many features of Google: how to find articles (Google Scholar), images, books, maps, blogs, definitions, conversions, and how to focus your searches for better results.

An Introduction to Physiotherapy Resources for the Absolute Beginner [60:00]

An introduction to finding research-based information for your physiotherapy practice, from Google, to Google Scholar, to PubMed, and beyond.

Anatomy of a Literature Search. Part 1: [60:00]

Learn how to find articles that are clinically relevant using EBSCO CINAHL and Medline, including hands-on practice time. Part 1 introduces you to the basic principles of searching with keywords and subject headings, Boolean logic, and managing your search results. Use this Lit Search Worksheet to plan your search.

Anatomy of a Literature Search Part 2 [60:00]

Part 2 continues with limits, setting up Alerts, and handy tips for physiotherapy searches.

Finding Full-Text Articles [52:00]

Learn where to find full-text articles: is it in your Electronic Health Library? Free on the web? Available in a local hospital or university library? Or do you need to purchase it?

Watch this Webinar on how to find full-text articles 


Sample Scenarios for Physiotherapy Practice

Scenarios and completed worksheets illustrate how to apply evidence to practice, from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Toronto.

Evidence-Based Rehabilitation Medicine & Physiotherapy

Chapter from the International Encylopedia of Rehabilitation, co-authored by Peter A. Huijbregts.

Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine

This tutorial is intended for any health care practitioner or student who needs a basic introduction to the principles of Evidence-Based Medicine.

Evidence-Based Medicine Tools

Including the Levels of Evidence chart describing the levels of evidence from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.

The Basic Principles of Evidence-Based Medicine

Brief article reproduced on PubMed Health.

Evaluating Evidence-Based Practice: Does it Facilitate Wise Clinical Decisions? [1:15]

International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT) 2012 conference in Quebec City, Canada, October 4, 2012. 


A clinical practice guideline is a systematically developed statement to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances. The content of a guideline is based on a systematic review of clinical evidence.

Physiotherapy Sources:

 General Sources: