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Physical Therapy

This research guide is created specifically for Physical Therapy Courses and topics such as Manual Therapy, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. It will help with library resources like finding articles, using databases, and much more!

Academic Search Complete

A comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full text database, with more than 5,300 full text periodicals, including 4,400 peer-reviewed journals. Offers indexing and abstracts for more than 9,300 journals and a total of 10,900 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. Features PDF content going back as far as 1865, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format.
Updated daily.

CINAHL Plus with Full Text

CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) is a resource for finding nursing and allied health literature: journals, books, pamphlets, audiovisuals, software, research instruments, nursing dissertations, evidence based care sheets, etc. and provides full text for 391 journals, plus legal cases, clinical innovations, critical paths, drug records, research instruments and clinical trials.
Coverage: 1937 to present.


Provides access to MEDLINE, Pre-MEDLINE, additional life science journals, and molecular biology databases; when articles have no free full text use Get It@CSULB. Coverage: Medline covers 1940's to present. Updated daily.

Cochrane Library

A collection of 6 databases that provide reliable and up-to-date information about the effects of health care treatments (interventions) and prevention and 2 additional databases that describe the Cochrane Collaboration as an organization. Much of the information is presented in the form of systematic reviews (Cochrane reviews) for practitioners, patients and policy makers.
Coverage: 1996 to present.
Updated quarterly.


PEDro is the Physiotherapy Evidence Database. PEDro is a free database of over 18,000 randomised trials, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy. For each trial, review or guideline, PEDro provides the citation details, the abstract and a link to the full text, where possible. All trials on PEDro are independently assessed for quality. These quality ratings are used to quickly guide users to trials that are more likely to be valid and to contain sufficient information to guide clinical practice. PEDro is produced by the Centre for Evidence-Based Physiotherapy at The George Institute for Global Health.

Start with These

Using a database will help you find scholarly and peer-reviewed articles & the last three will help you find evidence.

Also Useful

Additional Resources

Core Journals for Physical Therapy

The list below contains the core 16 journals for the field of physical therapy as identified in a 2011 JMLA article (Journal of the Medical Library Association), entitled: "Mapping the Core Journals of Physical Therapy Literature" by authors D. Fell, PT, MD, J. Burnham, MLS, AHIP, M. Buchanan, DPT, H. Horchen, DPT, and J. Scherr, DPT.

Journals are listed alphabetically.  

(Click title for direct access).

  1. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

  2. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy

  3. BMJ (British Medical Journal)

  4. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research

  5. Clinical Rehabilitation

  6. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery

  7. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

  8. Journal of the American Medical Association

  9. The Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy

  10. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise

  11. Pain

  12. Physical Therapy: Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association

  13. Physiotherapy

  14. Physiotherapy Canada (also titled Physiothérapie Canada)

  15. Spine

  16. Stroke

Searching Techniques

Databases might have different interfaces but remember they have similar functionality: search history, related topics/articles, cited by, save records, database accounts, limiters (e.g., language, document type, publication date).

See Searching Tips "tab" at top of screen