Physiotherapy: Allied Health Clinics

Allied Health Clinics resources

1. Finding evidence

Essentially Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) concept should inform care plans for your patients. EBP refers to the interaction of three main domains:

  • best research evidence.
  • clinical expertise.
  • patient values and circumstances.

These three domains need to be used to better inform the decision-making process for patient care. 

2. Searching for information

Once you have developed a well-focused research question you need to either locate:

  1. Background information for general knowledge
  2. Foreground information to decide on care plans for your patients

Use the map below to learn where to find information for background and foreground questions.

3. Searching for background information

UpToDate database is a great database to locate useful background information.

Tick [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]Note that content in UpToDate database is written by medical experts based on critically appraised medical research. Information in this database can be used to find background and foreground information.

Other databases that you can use to find background information;

4. Selecting resources

The Evidence-based healthcare pyramid represent different levels of evidence available in clinical decision making. Finding the best available evidence enables you to make the best decisions for your patient.

Start searching for foreground information at the top of the pyramid. Work your way down the pyramid if you are unable to find relevant information at a higher level in the hierarchy.

5. Databases to search

Clinical guidelines are systematically developed statements to assist health professional and client decisions about appropriate health care for specific circumstances.

They are used to translate evidence into actionable recommendations that can be applied to clinical situations. The below sources specifically include Australian guidelines.

These international databases include some guidelines, amongst other resources:

6. Example Search for foreground information

Before you search analyse your research question. Consider:

  1. The main concepts in your question. You can use these as search terms.
  2. Any synonyms (similar keywords) you could also include in your search.
  3. Any words you need to define.
  4. Plurals or different word endings for any search terms.

Find different word endings or spellings in databases by using:

  • Truncation - for different word endings e.g.: exercis* finds exercise, exercises, exercising
  • Phrase searching - find exact phrases e.g.: "lateral ankle"

Combine your keywords, using the connectors OR / AND, when searching.

ankle OR "lateral ankle OR "anterior talofibular ligament*" OR "tarsal bone*" OR bimalleolar OR trimalleolar OR bimalleolar OR "regio tarsalis" OR tarsus OR malleolus OR "distal tibiofibular joint*" OR "inferior tibiofibular joint*" OR tarsus OR "interior tibiofibular joint" OR "distal tibiofibular joint"


sprain* OR strain* OR injur*


physiotherap* OR physical therap* OR rehabilitat*


guideline* OR protocol*

Example Medline search strategy:

Tick [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]Search for terms guideline? OR protocol? in the title only. See Medline search example above

7. Example Google search for guidelines

You can search in Google to locate clinical practice guidelines.

You are able to do a comprehensive search in Google by combining your keywords using the connectors OR / AND.


("lateral ankle" OR "anterior talofibular ligament" OR “tarsal bone” OR “tarsal bones”)


(sprain OR strain)


(physiotherapy OR "physical therapy")


(“clinical guidelines” OR “clinical guideline” OR “practice guideline” OR “practice guidelines” OR “clinical protocols” OR “clinical protocol”)

Use these refinement options to get more relevant results:

  • verbatim - search for exact words only.
Tools > All results dropdown arrow > verbatim
  • date - locate up-to-date results.
Tools > Any time dropdown arrow > custom range
  • Country.

Settings > search settings > Region settings