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A Guide to Physical Therapy

This Research Guide contains research resources and services for Physical Therapy.

Essential Databases

  • When you find an article of interest in NARIC's REHABDATA, use the title of the journal to search Journals at CSU.

More Databases

Search Tips

Productive and effective searching:

  • Start with one or two keywords 
    • Add terms with AND to narrow results (exercise AND fatigue)
    • If needed, combine synonyms with OR to include related terms (neurological OR neuromuscular)
  • Review results to brainstorm additional or alternate keyword options
  • Try multiple searches with different keywords and explore more than one database
  • Apply limiters thoughtfully
    • After seeing how productive your keywords are, limit by date range and English language
    • Other limiters to try:
      • Peer Reviewed (articles must be approved by other scholars before publication)
      • Other database-specific limit options (age range, type of study, etc.)
A thorough review of the literature includes:
  • Searching multiple databases
  • Using synonyms, related terms, and controlled vocabulary (e.g. MeSH terms/headings) in addition to your topic keywords
  • Searching concepts separately to reveal limiting variables
  • Combining concepts strategically to focus results without over-narrowing
  • Using database limiters/filters thoughtfully
  • Applying inclusion/exclusion criteria as you skim result lists 
  • Scheduling a research appointment to brainstorm search options with your Personal Librarian
Can't access the article you need? Use our Inter-library loan (ILL) service!


Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) are a controlled vocabulary of terms that describe medical conditions, procedures, interventions, etc. MeSH terms are assigned to content in biomedical literature databases (Medline, PubMed, etc.) to allow researchers to enhance keyword search strategy development.