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Physical Therapy Research Guide

Designed to promote resources used by the DPT program.

Search Libraries Worldwide

Physical Therapy Databases

Anatomy and Physiology

Developing a Search Strategy

A search strategy is a plan that will help you look for the information you need.

  • Identify the key concepts.
  • Determine alternate terms for these concepts, if needed.
  • Use Boolean operators to broaden or narrow your search.
    • AND – narrows your search results
    • OR – broadens your search results
    • NOT – narrows your search results
  • Use wildcard and truncation sympbols.
    • Symbols used depend on database (*, ?)
  • Use built-in subject terms (i.e., MeSH in MEDLINE, CINAHL Headings in CINAHL), thesauri and other indexes – use this specific language whenever possible.
  • Using bibliographies (works cited or reference lists) for other relevant articles, etc.
  • Refine your search to dates, studies, etc., as appropriate