Skip to main content

Physical Therapist Assistant

This Research Guide should assist students in the Physical Therapy progam with finding library research material.

What is Evidence Based Practice?

The process of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) includes finding evidence to make decisions. Evidence is one of EBP's 3 parts: best research evidence, clinical expertise, and patient values and preferences. 


Venn diagram of evidence based practice's 3 parts


Types of Articles

A pyramid shows which type of evidence (also called studies or articles) is best as a hierarchy. The highest level of evidence is articles called "systematic reviews" and "meta-analysis," followed by other types of studies. Sometimes the title of the article will identify which type of source it is.



What are systematic reviews and meta-analysis?

  • A systematic review is a summary of research studies on a topic and question.

  • A meta-analysis combines study results by using statistical methods.



How do I find articles for EBP?

Use library databases to find articles for EBP evidence. Delta student, staff, or faculty have access to full text articles through Delta College Library. Access articles from campus or home (just log in with your Delta ID and password from off campus).



The two best databases at Delta College for evidence to support EBP are:

(Employers or other schools might have access to other databases, like Cochrane Library or UpToDate, which are not at Delta.)

How to find EBP articles in those databases:


  • Check the “full text” button or option to ensure that the articles you find will have the whole article.

  • Look for the types of studies or articles in the evidence pyramid.

  • Evaluate the article’s validity.



PEDro for Physical Therapist Assistants

PEDro is the Physiotherapy Evidence Database and is best for physical therapist assistants. PEDro is a good index to "randomized trials, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy." However, many links to full-text articles link to PubMed. Still, this resource may provide a few more citations that you may not find in other databases. If you are a physical therapist student looking for evidence-based information, then try this database. Not all articles are freely available, but PEDro started offering open access articles in 2013.

Find us on Facebook! | Follow Us on Twitter! | Visit our Blog!

1961 Delta Road, University Center, Michigan (989) 686-9016