Allied health

If you are studying occupational therapy, physiotherapy or podiatry then this guide is for you. It will help you to find and use key resources for your subject.

Finding books

To find books and ebooks use Discover. Watch a short video to help improve your search.

Where are my books in the Library?

Most books for occupational therapy, physiotherapy and podiatry are on level 2 and level 3. For help ask a member of staff on the floor or watch Find a book in the Library.

Many of our books are online, watch Find and use ebooks to learn more.

Finding journals

Use Discover to search for journal articles by title or to search for a journal by subject.

Your lecturer may recommend specific titles, but you can also use our journal browse feature to see what journals we have for your subject area. If you need help watch a short video, Find a Journal by Title or Browse Journals by Subject.

For help getting access access to the full text of a journal article watch Finding and accessing full text.

To request journals that we don’t have in stock use the inter-library loan service.

Finding and using databases

A database enables you to carry out a strategic search for journal articles. You can search using a combination of search terms, filter and narrow results (by date or subject area for example) and save your searches.

Not all databases will host the full text of the article you need but should provide a link out to full text or further information. For help watch our short video Finding and accessing full text.

There is some overlap between the databases but every database also has unique content. Help guides are available within the Discover record for individual databases.

Key databases:
  • CINAHL: an authoritative source within the field of nursing and allied health. CINAHL allows you to search using a combination of free text (or keyword) and thesaurus terms (known as CINAHL headings) to produce precise results. Option to limit to peer review material, link out to full text articles and search other EBSCO databases including MEDLINE. If you are new to CINAHL or need a refresher watch our video: Introduction to searching CINAHL. This will also be helpful if you are searching MEDLINE.
  • AMED: an alternative medicine database for physicians, therapists, medical researchers and clinicians looking to learn more about alternative treatments.
  • ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health: reliable information covering nursing, allied health, alternative and complementary medicine. Easy to use and provides access to full text for a range of sources. Functionality to search this individual database or across a collection of health related databases including ProQuest Health and Medical Collection.
  • Web of Science: easy to use, high quality sources of scientific research including health and medicine. Functionality to search within a set of results. You can also view the number of times an article has been cited and the journal impact factor.
  • PEDro: evidence database of randomised trials, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy.
  • Sports Medicine and Education Index: particularly useful for physiotherapy – subjects include: sport sociology or psychology, sport law, kinesiology, motor learning, recreation, standardized fitness tests, sports equipment, business and marketing, coaching and training.
  • OT Seeker: contains abstracts of systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials and other resources relevant to occupational therapy interventions.
  • Social Care Online: the UK's largest database of information and research on all aspects of social care and social work. It includes legislation, government documents, practice and guidance, systematic reviews, UK grey (informally-published) literature, reports, and journal articles.
  • Anatomy TV: image databank providing 3D anatomical pictures with physiology and clinical content. These can be rotated and layers can be removed to expose underlying structures. Includes quizzes and activities to test your learning.

A full list of all the databases we subscribe to is available from the Database A-Z.


Websites can offer a range of useful information that may be difficult to find elsewhere such as clinical guidelines, policy documents, statistics and so on.

Consider using the websites of professional bodies like the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the British Chiropody and Podiatry Association (BCPA). Also, public or government bodies like Health Improvement Scotland, research centres like The Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP-RU), and blogs like Evidently Cochrane.

With such a wide variety available you need to ensure that the sites you are using are trustworthy. Visit our PDF guide on evaluating websites.