Lauren Fletcher, MLIS, MA
Medical Education & Clinical Engagement Librarian
Brown University Library
This is an update to a review published in the June 2020 issue of Doody’s Collection Development Monthly. You can find the original review here.
PEDro is a free database for finding evidence-based physiotherapy/rehabilitation sciences research. Although the global audience for PEDro is primarily practicing physiotherapists and physiotherapy students, information specialists, clinicians in other specialties, and consumers will also find the information found within PEDro to be useful.
PEDro contains over 56,000 clinical trials, practice guidelines, and systematic reviews related to the field of physiotherapy from 1929 to its last update (as of this review, Oct. 10, 2022). The overall content and research methods have not been altered since my last review. PEDro continues to collate research from personal databases of the Steering Committee, automated searches within top biomedical databases and the wider web, as well as track citations from included systematic reviews. PEDro welcomes suggestions of clinical trials not yet added to the database.
All indexed clinical trials continue to be rated according to the PEDro scale, focusing on internal validity and whether the trials contain sufficient statistical information to make it interpretable. The PEDro scale does not take external validity or the size of the treatment effect into consideration (1). Users are encouraged to contact PEDro if they disagree with any trial rating.
As of May 2022, PEDro started their campaign, #PEDroTacklesBarriers, a blog/vlog-based skills lab for physiotherapists to help guide them in learning skills to tackle the largest barriers to evidence-based physiotherapy practice: lack of time, language, lack of access, and lack of statistical skills. Each month, PEDro will release a blog and vlog combination post with accounts from practicing physiotherapy professionals on how they have confronted and overcome these barriers (2). Posts are made available in English, Portuguese, French, and Italian.
Features and Functionality
Since my last review, PEDro has slightly updated their welcome interface. Users are now greeted by a wheel of options: search, browse, learn, resources, and about. This more user-friendly approach will aid new users in deciding the type of information they require from the site.
The search option now defaults to Advanced Search. The components of the Advanced Search algorithm have not changed. Users can still search by a combination of title/abstract keyword and physiotherapy specific dropdown options for therapy type, problem, body part, subdiscipline, topic, and method. Users are still unable to perform a combination Boolean search; the interface will only allow match all terms (AND) or match any term (OR). Users can combat this issue by utilizing a combination of keywords and dropdown options, which allows for a more complex search.
The Simple and Consumer search interfaces remain unchanged. The Simple Search still only allows for basic keyword and single Boolean searching. The Consumer Search directs users to select from three predefined dropdown menus to answer the following statements, “the health problem…,” “the symptom or difficulty experienced…,” and “the treatment I’d like to know about is….” In conjunction or separate from these options, users can supply a term or abbreviation related to the problem, symptom, treatment, or body part, or select a body part/region on the human model available.
The search results page has not changed since my last review, listing first practice guidelines, systematic reviews, and then clinical trials. All trials are scored according to the PEDro scale. Results are displayed with hyperlinked titles, which take users to the Detailed Search Results page. This page provides citation information, method, breakdown of PEDro scale score (where applicable), abstract (where available), and full-text link outs via DOI, PubMed, PDF Locator, and Publisher. Consumer Search results provides hyperlinked titles that open to their own Detailed Search Results page, which provides citation information, method, method score (where applicable), consumer summaries (where available), abstract (where available), and the same full-text link outs.
In each search interface, users can select particular records of interest. These records are stored and made available via the “Display Selected Records” option in the search results menu. This list can be printed and/or exported to reference management systems EndNote and RefWorks.
The PEDro business model has not changed since my last review. PEDro continues to be a free database supported by the PEDro Partnership, based at the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health at the University of Sydney and Sydney Local Health District. There are no advertisements to supplement cost/funding; therefore, donations and support from professional organizations, associations, and individual users are welcomed.
The PEDro Partnership is led by a Steering Committee of six academic and clinical physiotherapists within the greater New South Wales and Queensland, Australia areas. In addition, the Partnership and Steering Committee are assisted by an advisory panel of professionals in various fields of evidence-based practice from countries across the world including Brazil, the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia (3).
PEDro continues to deliver high-quality, evidence-based physiotherapy research free of charge. New updates provide valuable tools and strategies to practice evidence-based physiotherapy with the #PEDroTacklesBarriers campaign. The PEDro database itself remains to be an easy-to-utilize interface for clinical users and consumers alike. This is a valuable, cost-free resource for libraries or hospitals supporting any type of rehabilitation sciences program or department.
(1). PEDro. (2022). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from https://pedro.org.au/english/learn/faq/
(2). PEDro. (2022). #PEDroTacklesBarriers to EBP. Retrieved from https://pedro.org.au/english/learn/pedrotacklesbarriers/
(3). PEDro. (2022). Who we are. Retrieved from https://pedro.org.au/english/about/who-we-are/