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An evidence-based approach
Clinicians are increasingly using evidence from high-quality clinical research to guide clinical decision making. Recent articles in this journal have examined research evidence to assist in clinical decisions as diverse as the prescription of running shoes,1 exercise therapy in the treatment of chronic disease2 and the use of protective equipment to prevent concussion.3
The Physiotherapy Evidence Database
The most valid information about the effectiveness of healthcare interventions is provided by randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials.4 The Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro; http://www.pedro.org.au) provides easy access to randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews of physiotherapy interventions. PEDro also includes links to evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. October 2009 marked the 10th anniversary of the launch of PEDro.
PEDro is freely available on the internet. The database indexes citation details, author abstracts and, where available, links to full text for randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews and practice guidelines in physiotherapy. Although the PEDro database is designed primarily for health professionals, a subsite, called Physiotherapy Choices (http://www.physiotherapychoices.org.au), provides information in lay terms directly to consumers of physiotherapy services.
As of August 2009, more than 15 000 records (12 408 trials, 2060 reviews and 603 guidelines) have been indexed on PEDro. Each record is coded according to the subdiscipline(s) of physiotherapy it addresses. PEDro now includes 615 randomised controlled trials and 102 systematic …