Databases and information to help you access research, and conduct research.


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

Check out databases and information to help you access research below. Questions? Contact us at


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.


Cochrane Library

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.

Cochrane Library


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.


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


Evidence-informed practice! 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)


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:

  • Search PEDro – Advanced Search and select Method = practice guideline [database]
  • For a more comprehensive search on your topic, do a search in Medline, PubMed and limit to publication type = guideline or practice guideline [database].

 General Sources: