Monday, February 02, 2015

PEDro - evidence for physiotherapy practice

I knew about PEDro, the physiotherapy evidence database, but have actually been using it to find material about head injuries (my obsession with this is explained elsewhere!).

PEDro is a freely accessible database of RCTs, systematic reviews and practice guidelines in physiotherapy.  It gives you bibliographic details and (if permitted by the publisher) an abstract, with links to full text. These links include publisher links, which will work if you or your institution subscribe that way (and you are on campus, in the institutional case), links via DOI, and sites like PubMed Central, and links to PubMed.

Something it offers that Medline does not is an independent assessment of quality, giving a score out of 10.  The reason for the score is transparent, and when you read the record you will see how the item scored with regard to things like blinding, allocation, and intention to treat. 

On the advanced search screen you can use the drop down boxes to select therapy, problem, body part and topic.  Method is RCT/SR/practice guideline.

So, to find things about work with people who have had a head injury, you could select Body Part = Head and Neck and Topic = Neurotrauma.  This finds guidelines from NICE and SIGN and one from Australia (PEDro is Australian), three systematic reviews and a dozen or so trials.  The guidelines are not in Medline, for sure, and some of the other material might not be.

You have to move from result to the next by going back to the results screen and choosing the next one, but if you click the select link on that results page, you can then display full records of those you have selected, on one screen.   From that screen of selected records you can export to EndNote or RefWorks.

Import to EndNote involves emailing the results and saving the email as a text file. I can't work out how to do this in Gmail, but I did copy the text from the email to a plain text file and managed to import that, following PEDro's instructions.

Import to RefWorks involves copying the results, then importing using the "Import as Text" option under References > Import.  For this, you paste those copied results into a box in RefWorks.  This worked although PEDro only includes authors and title, and does not seem to include guideline number.  

PEDro is a good way to find evidence for practice in physiotherapy and perhaps beyond, and its quality assessment information is not to my knowledge matched by anything elsewhere.

No comments: