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Physical Therapist Assistant: Find PTA Articles

Library research and resources for students in the Gateway PTA program.

Gateway Libraries

Research Tips from APTA

You may have to search through multiple resources to find the research you need.  No one database or Web site provides access to every journal or magazine article ever published. Click here to read an overview from APTA about How to Find Information in Physical Therapy Literature 

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

From the APTA Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020:  “Evidence-based practice is access to, and application and integration of evidence to guide clinical decision making to provide best practice for the patient/client. Evidence-based practice includes the integration of best available research, clinical expertise, and patient/client values and circumstances related to patient/client management, practice management, and health care policy decision making.

Working Operational Definitions of Elements of Vision 2020, The Task Force on Strategic Plan  to Achieve Vision 2020, June 2007.

Find Articles Using CINAHL from EBSCOhost

What is CINAHL?  A database with descriptions of articles from over 600 magazines and journals about medical practice including nursing, physical therapy, dental hygiene, medical assisting, speech pathology and other allied healthcare research.  The database includes summaries of the articles and in many cases, the actual article is attached for reading, printing, saving, and emailing. Articles date back to 1981. The CINAHL database begin in the early 1940s by several nurses as a collection of index cards describing and summarizing research articles.

Find Articles Using PubMed

PubMed is the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) electronic database of 20 million biomedical citations and abstracts. It covers the fields of medicine, nursing, and health and rehabilitation sciences, including physical therapy. Search for your topic and a list of article descriptions will result. Some descriptions will link to the actual article, when available.   For all others, ask the Gateway Library Staff to borrow copies from other libraries at no-cost to you. 

What is a Research Article?

A research article reports on the results of a research study or experiment related to a profession. Review the 1-page checklist below to understand the purpose and characteristics of a research article.  Then begin your search by clicking on one of the database links (PubMed, EbscoHost).

How Can I Get Copies of Articles?

Contact the Gateway Library Staff with the article information.  We may have the journal title you are looking for in our collections, or we will obtain the article through our free Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service. 

Find Articles With APTA's Hooked on Evidence (Members Only)

The Hooked on Evidence Website represents a "grassroots" effort to develop a database containing current research evidence on the effectiveness of physical therapy interventions.  Must be an APTA member to access this resource.