Primary sources

Primary (unfiltered) sources provide evidence concerning a topic under investigation. These generally appear in peer-reviewed journals and are mainly found by searching databases. It is important to be able to access primary sources, particularly if your clinical question cannot be answered from filtered sources or there are newer studies not included in the sources you have found.

Enter your search terms then refine using the Clinical Queries, Randomized Controlled Trials or Evidence Based Practice limits.

Perform a search for your topic and then click on Additional Limits and filter your search by: Clinical trials, EBM-Evidence Based Medicine or Clinical Queries.

Search for your topic then select the filters on the search results page under Type of Article (Clinical Trial, Randomized Controlled Trial etc.). You can also select PubMed Clinical Queries which is a tool for clinicians to quickly find evidence on clinical or disease-specific topics without performing a comprehensive search strategy. It is especially useful for therapy and diagnosis queries.

To limit your PsycINFO search, click on Additional Limits to choose Methodology (study types) or Clinical Queries.

Secondary sources

Secondary (filtered) sources are summaries and analyses of the evidence derived from and based on primary sources. They provide an appraisal of the quality of studies and often make recommendations for practice. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses and clinical practice guidelines fall under this category.

Cochrane Library is a database of systematic reviews in health and social care which present summaries of the findings of the best studies.

JBI provides a wide range of summarised and appraised evidence for nursing and healthcare topics.

Provides abstracts of clinical practice guidelines, randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews in physiotherapy.

Provides abstracts of systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials in occupational therapy.

Provides details of systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials, case series, and single subject design studies in speech pathology.


Clinical practice guidelines

This portal provides links to guidelines from countries around the world, including guidelines developed for use in Australian health care settings.

Database of Australian evidence-based therapeutic guidelines.

A comprehensive database of evidenceā€based clinical practice guidelines and related documents produced by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, in partnership with the American Medical Association and the American Association of Health Plans.

This provides national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health in the UK.


Point-of-care tools

Point-of-care tools summarise the best available evidence based information about specific clinical problems.

UpToDate is an evidence-based, physician-authored clinical decision support database which assists clinicians in making appropriate point-of-care decisions. Current health and medical information is synthesized into evidence based recommendations to improve the quality of patient care.