OTCATS: Occupational Therapy Critically Appraised Topics
Introduction Topics Project Summary EBP Links Media Releases

Allied health evidence databases

1. OTseeker (Occupational Therapy Systematic Evaluation of Evidence) www.otseeker.com

Launched in March 2003, this free site contains abstracts of systematic reviews and RCTs relevant to occupational therapy. Developed by academics at the University of Queensland and University of Western Sydney, Australia. Studies have been critically appraised and rated from 1 to 10 for quality, validity and interpretability using the PEDro rating scale (see below). The search engine allows users to find research articles according to diagnosis/sub-discipline (eg neurology, brain injury, mental health) and intervention (eg pain management, exercise, stress management). When an abstract is missing (because of copyright regulations) a link to the PubMed site allows you to locate the abstract immediately

2. PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database) www.pedro.fhs.usyd.edu.au

PEDro refers to the Physiotherapy Evidence Database. Launched in 1999, this database is an initiative of the Centre for Evidence-Based Physiotherapy (CEBP) in Sydney, Australia. The PEDro site aims to give physiotherapists and others rapid access to bibliographic details and abstracts of randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews in physiotherapy. All randomised controlled trials included in the database have been rated on the PEDro rating scale for quality (from 0-10) to help you quickly discriminate between trials which are likely to be valid and interpretable and those which are not. PEDro contains many trials of relevance to occupational therapy.

3. PsycBITEČ (Psychological Database for Brain Impairment Treatment Efficacy) www.psycbite.com

PsycBITEČ is an evidence database that catalogues studies of cognitive, behavioural and other treatments for psychological problems and issues occurring as a consequence of acquired brain impairment (ABI). The types of studies contained on this database are systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials (RCT), non-randomised controlled trials (non-RCT), case series (CS), and single-case experimental designs (SCED). Studies are rated for their methodological quality, evaluating various aspects of scientific rigour. This website has been funded by the Motor Accidents Authority of New South Wales, and is another Australian initiative. Free access to the PsycBITEČ database enables professionals to search for relevant articles. Members of the original team are a multidisciplinary group of researchers in Sydney, Australia, each of whom has many years of clinical experience in the management of people with acquired brain impairment.

4. Cochrane Library www.update-software.com/cochrane or www.update-software.com/clibng/cliblogon.htm

This site includes Abstracts of Cochrane Systematic Reviews. Go to ‘Abstracts of Cochrane Reviews’ (See grey box on left side of entry screen….then in the next screen look for ‘Browse reviews sorted by Cochrane Review Group).

Full abstracts have always been available free of charge, however Australians and residents of a few other countries can now access full Cochrane reviews on-line for no charge (Look to right of main entry screen and click on ‘log on anonymously’). An increasing number of systematic review groups and reviews have now been completed relevant to rehabilitation interventions, such as hand splinting, pressure care, types of patient education.

5. Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness (DARE) http://agatha.york.ac.uk/darehp.htm

This is a site associated with the University of York, NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination in the UK. The site includes structured abstracts of meta-analyses and systematic reviews written by reviewers, of studies that meet a set of quality criteria. The NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) was established in January 1994 to provide important information on the effectiveness of treatments and the delivery and organisation of health care. The centre undertakes and commissions rigorous reviews of research findings on the effectiveness of health care relevant to the NHS. The centre liaises with decision makers to prioritise reviews and in particular the questions addressed in reviews.

6. PubMed www.pubmed.com

Although this site is not a database of pre-appraised evidence, it is the free equivalent of Medline and contains original RCTs and systematic reviews from medical and some allied health journals. It is recommended that you use ‘PubMed Clinical Queries ‘ located on left-hand side of site. This specialised feature includes built-in search filters to find high quality studies on therapy (treatments), diagnosis, etiology, or prognosis.

7. Centre for Clinical Effectiveness, Monash University, Australia www.southernhealth.org.au/page/Health_Professionals/CCE/*

The Centre for Clinical Effectiveness (CCE) answers requests for evidence from the staff of Southern Health, Melbourne, Australia. The CCE opened in March 1998

Reports produced by the CCE are of three levels - (1) literature searches with assessment of methodology; (2) critical appraisals; and (3) full reports. All reports involve a systematic search of the published literature. ‘Critical appraisals’ are evaluative summaries of identified studies based on standard templates. ‘Full reports’ include syntheses of the available evidence using standard processes. Go to ‘Evidence Reports’ at the top of the home page and select from the 75 critical appraisals and over 90 full reports (at March 2003).

Supported by the University of Western Sydney
Funded by the Motor Accidents Authority of NSW
© 2003 Annie McCluskey. Disclaimer
University of Western Sydney Motor Accidents Authority of NSW