Resources for Therapists:
Here is a running list of websites, search engines, books, and journals to help therapists access current evidence and implement it in practice. We do our best to update this list regularly and keep it as up to date as possible.
Reference Websites & Clinical Decision Making Aids
Uptodate.com : This is an evidence-based, physician authored and edited resource designed to improve clinical decision making. While it is primarily geared towards physicians, it does offer broad overviews and information on many diagnoses. It can be used as a “first stop” to gather information, common treatments, and differential assessments and diagnoses. It also allows certain health professionals to earn CME (continuing medical education) credits based on the number of articles read. Now it is somewhat expensive, but it is not uncommon for hospitals or larger medical practices to buy subscriptions for the organization.
Physiopedia calls itself the wikipedia of physiotherapy. It offers a great deal of information and treatment options for many common and not so common diagnoses. Each of its articles are thoroughly researched, with an extensive list of references at the bottom. They also have some clinical decision making aids for some common injuries and diagnoses.
Brigham & Women’s Hospital has on their website PT Standards of Care and OT Standards of care, which include both evidence-based protocols and practice standards for various injuries and surgical procedures. Whether you are looking for a protocol for a knee replacement or a wrist fusion, there is a strong chance you will find it on one of these two pages.
Wheeless’ Textbook of Orthopaedics is presented by Duke University Medical Center’s Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a totally free and open access resource for any practitioner in orthopedics as well as students or patients who seek information about any number of orthopedic conditions. It is updated regularly by experts in the field and pertinent new journal articles and helpful websites are linked to the appropriate pages for reference.
Open Journals for Therapists
The OJOT, or Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, is an open source, peer-reviewed journal that aims to publish articles relevant to research, practice, and education in Occupational Therapy. It is managed by Western Michigan University.
Search Engines and Research Subscriptions
MacPLUS is a continuously updated search engine aimed at providing the best information to help in clinical decision making. It searches several databases, journals, and evidence-based texts to find this information. One really nice thing about this search engine is that it automatically ranks results by the hierarchy of evidence. So randomized controlled trials (RCT) are ranked higher than case studies. This can be a useful feature when trying to find high-level evidence with little time. MacPLUS also offers an email subscription service where professionals can create an account, select desired areas of practice, and other evidence preferences. MacPLUS will then send regular emails with new research and published articles in the areas selected.
Professional Associations & Evidence-Based Practice
APTA, or the American Physical Therapy Association, has a section on their site offering information regarding research and evidence-based practice. They also offer evidence-based practice tools as well as PT Now, with clinical summaries, for paid members.
Home Exercise Programs
This is a great resource for therapists who are evaluating patients and issuing them home exercise programs. It is a totally free resource that allows you to create exercise sheets, download them to PDF, and even send them to your patients via text or email.