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PT - Learning for a Lifetime: PubMed

Physical Therapy Resources including PubMed freely available to everyone

MNLINK

PubMed Links

Facts about PubMed

PubMed is probably the most important index for articles published in medicine and health sciences.
  • The index is compiled by the National Library of Medicine; largest medical library in the world.
  • The Library has been indexing the biomedical literature since 1879.
  • In its print form, it was known as the Index Medicus. This was a staple in library reference collections for many years.
  • In its online form, the Index Medicus became known as MEDLINE.
  • Since 1996, MEDLINE has been available to the public through PubMed.
  • Currently, PubMed provides access to over 18 million citations.
  • The coverage is from 1948 to present. Over 60 years.
  • The coverage is worldwide, but most (90 percent) of the records are from English-language sources.
  • About 80 percent of the citations come with abstracts or summaries of the articles.
  • About 14 percent of the articles come with links to free full text.

Terminology

Below are some of the terms that you might encounter when developing searches in PubMed and other databases in the health sciences. In particular, the terms might be encountered when you are placing limits on searches. I have used scope notes from Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) as the source for these definitions.

Clinical Trial

Work that is the report of a pre-planned clinical study of the safety, efficacy, or optimum dosage schedule of one or more diagnostic, therapeutic, or prophylactic drugs, devices, or techniques in humans selected according to predetermined criteria of eligibility and observed for predefined evidence of favorable and unfavorable effects. While most clinical trials concern humans, this publication type may be used for clinical veterinary articles meeting the requisites for humans. Specific headings for specific types and phases of clinical trials are also available.

Clinical Trial, Phase 1

Work that is the report of a pre-planned, usually controlled, clinical study of the safety and efficacy of diagnostic, therapeutic, or prophylactic drugs, devices, or techniques based on a small number of healthy persons and conducted over the period of about a year in either the United States or a foreign country.

Clinical Trial, Phase 2

Work that is a report of a pre-planned, usually controlled, clinical study of the safety and efficacy of diagnostic, therapeutic, or prophylactic drugs, devices, or techniques based on several hundred volunteers, including a limited number of patients, and conducted over a period of about two years in either the United States or a foreign country.

Clinical Trial, Phase 3

Work that is a report of a pre-planned, usually controlled, clinical study of the safety and efficacy of diagnostic, therapeutic, or prophylactic drugs, devices, or techniques after phase II trials. A large enough group of patients is studied and closely monitored by physicians for adverse response to long-term exposure, over a period of about three years in either the United States or a foreign country.

Clinical Trial, Phase 4

Work that is a report of a planned post-marketing study of diagnostic, therapeutic, or prophylactic drugs, devices, or techniques that have been approved for general sale after clinical trials, phases I, II, and III. These studies, conducted in the United States or a foreign country, often garner additional data about the safety and efficacy of a product.

Evidence-based Medicine

An approach of practicing medicine with the goal to improve and evaluate patient care. It requires the judicious integration of best research evidence with the patient's values to make decisions about medical care. This method is to help physicians make proper diagnosis, devise best testing plan, choose best treatment and methods of disease prevention, as well as develop guidelines for large groups of patients with the same disease.

Practice Guideline

Work consisting of a set of directions or principles to assist the health care practitioner with patient care decisions about appropriate diagnostic, therapeutic, or other clinical procedures for specific clinical circumstances. Practice guidelines may be developed by government agencies at any level, institutions, organizations such as professional societies or governing boards, or by the convening of expert panels. They can provide a foundation for assessing and evaluating the quality and effectiveness of health care in terms of measuring improved health, reduction of variation in services or procedures performed, and reduction of variation in outcomes of health care delivered.

Meta-Analysis

Works consisting of studies using a quantitative method of combining the results of independent studies (usually drawn from the published literature) and synthesizing summaries and conclusions which may be used to evaluate therapeutic effectiveness, plan new studies, etc. It is often an overview of clinical trials. It is usually called a meta-analysis by the author or sponsoring body and should be differentiated from reviews of literature.

Randomized Controlled Trial

Work consisting of a clinical trial that involves at least one test treatment and one control treatment, concurrent enrollment and follow-up of the test- and control-treated groups, and in which the treatments to be administered are selected by a random process, such as the use of a random-numbers table.

Review

An article or book published after examination of published material on a subject. It may be comprehensive to various degrees and the time range of material scrutinized may be broad or narrow, but the reviews most often desired are reviews of the current literature. The textual material examined may be equally broad and can encompass, in medicine specifically, clinical material as well as experimental research or case reports. State-of-the-art reviews tend to address more current matters. A review of the literature must be differentiated from HISTORICAL ARTICLE on the same subject, but a review of historical literature is also within the scope of this publication type.

Physical Therapy Journals in PubMed

  • Advances in physiotherapy
  • Australian journal of physiotherapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Journal of geriatric physical therapy
  • Journal of neurologic physical therapy: JNPT
  • Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy
  • Pediatric physical therapy
  • Physical & occupational therapy in geriatrics
  • Physical therapy in sport
  • Physiotherapy
  • Physiotherapy Canada
  • Physiotherapy research international
  • Physiotherapy theory and practice