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Physical Therapy Guide


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Mount St. Joseph University
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Cincinnati, OH 45233

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PT Databases

For graduate-level research you'll need to use specialized periodical databases that cover a specific subject. These list articles published in scholarly and peer-reviewed journals from around the world.  Online periodical indexes (databases) may also link to the full text of the article.

Journal articles provide primary research, current information, and various points of view on your topic. Articles can also provide information about topics that are not covered in books.  Search article databases, like the ones listed below, to find articles on your topic.

The most important databases for Physical Therapy are:

PICO Search

Using PICO Search in EBSCO Databases

PICO is an acronym that describes a process for helping health professionals formulate a clinical question before starting a search.

The clinical question needs to identify:

  • Population or problem we intend to study
  • Intervention or treatment we plan to use
  • Comparison of one intervention to another
  • Outcome we anticipate

All EBSCO databases, including CINAHL Complete, MEDLINE with Full Text, Alt HealthWatch, and SPORTDiscus with Full Text, support this searching style by providing a unique search box for filling in the separate PICO elements. This feature helps researchers reduce their search query into a succinct statement and defines specific keywords.

Creating a PICO Search

In the following example, the researcher wants to know "In newborns experiencing pain, is there evidence to suggest that skin to skin contact is more effective than administering oral sucrose to reduce pain?"

To search using PICO:

  1. On an EBSCO Database search screen (such as CINAHL Complete) (basic  or advanced), click the PICO Search link below the search box.
    Pico Search
  2. Reduce your question into specific keywords and enter them in the PICO search box fields.
    Note: The (P)opulation and (I)ntervention fields must have terms entered. The (C)omparison and (O)utcome fields are optional for searching.
    Creating Pico search
  3. After entering your terms, click Submit.

  4. Your results are displayed.

For more information on PICO, along with additional examples of PICO questions, see "Forming Focused Questions with PICO: About PICO" from the University of North Carolina's Health Sciences Library.

Post-Grad AccessMedicine 90 Day Access

How to Keep Your AccessMedicine/AccessPhysiotherapy Access for 90 Days After You Graduate:

  1. Follow these instructions as close to graduation day as possible, in order to maximize your 90-day window of access.
  2. Login via the proxied links on the MSJ Library website:
    AccessMedicine:  or
    and type in your last name and you LIB number, which is on your student ID card.
  3. Once you have logged into either AccessMedicine or AccessPhysiotherapy, click on the “Sign In” link on the top right-hand corner of the homepage, and click on the menu option that says, “Sign in or Create a Free MyAccess Profile.” If you don’t already have a MyAccess account, then click on the option that says, “Create a Free MyAccess Profile.” If you already have a MyAccess account, then go ahead and sign in with your MyAccess username and password. Please note: to get the 90-Day access, you must do both Step 1 and Step 2—in other words, you must both login to AccessMedicine or AccessPhysiotherapy AND login to your MyAccess account.
  4. To confirm that your 90-Day access has been validated, click on your name in the top right-hand corner of the AccessMedicine or AccessPhysiotherapy homepage. Then click on the menu option that says, “My Dashboard.”
  5. Now you should see the homepage of your “MyAccess” account. In the lower left-hand corner, there should be a message that says, “You have remote access from Mount Saint Joseph University for 90 days.”
  6. After graduation day, you can login to AccessMedicine by going directly to the McGraw-Hill Medical Homepage: and click on the “Sign In” link on the top right-hand corner of the homepage. Login with your MyAccess username and password. (Note: Do NOT login with your MSJ Library ID number; that number will no longer be valid after you graduate.)