The Cochrane Library database
A Tutorial on Searching for Osteoarthritis
and Rheumatoid Arthritis Information
Who should use this tutorial?
• Physical Therapists
• Occupational Therapists
• Those with a vested interest in the care of
osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis patients
Reasons to use this tutorial…
• Learn to search with MeSH terms and
subheadings/qualifiers and to filter results
• Find evidence-based information on
treatment for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid
arthritis to incorporate in arthritis patients’
• Contribute to meeting the Healthy People
Let’s get started!
1. Access The Cochrane Library homepage
2. Click Advanced Search at the top of the page
3. Click the Medical Terms (MeSH) tab
MeSH Terms and Subheadings
4. Enter Osteoarthritis or select this term from the auto-suggest list in the MeSH term
field and select Therapy – TH as the subheading/qualifier. Then click Lookup.
5. The 15 Cochrane Reviews are of the most interest because they contain evidence-
based information for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Click View Results.
6. On the Results page, the 15 Cochrane Reviews are displayed.
7. The Cochrane Reviews can be filtered for Reviews or Protocols. The results can
also be filtered for one of The Cochrane Library’s six other databases. For the
purposes of this guide, the Results page will not be filtered, as the Cochrane
Reviews will be examined next and there are no protocols currently published for
8. Cochrane Reviews are clearly labeled with Review. The Results page also provides
a key that assists users with interpreting records.
For example, the key indicates that this review’s conclusions
have changed in light of a new search that found new studies.
9. This review is suitable for physical therapists to reference when deciding on whether
to use this treatment with patients. All Cochrane Reviews provide evidence-based
information. They compile research on the effectiveness of treatments and provide
conclusions identifying the treatments that work and those that don’t (Wiley, n.d.).
More MeSH Terms and Subheadings
10. The same search process can be used to find reviews on rheumatoid arthritis
and treatment. Enter Arthritis, Rheumatoid or select this term from the auto-
suggest list in the MeSH term field and select Therapy – TH as the
subheading/qualifier. Then click Lookup.
11. There are 9 Cochrane Reviews on treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
• MeSH terms, Osteoarthritis and Arthritis, Rheumatoid, can be searched on
their own or in combination with subheadings, such as Therapy –TH, to
find Cochrane Reviews
• Incorporating evidence-based information, such as Cochrane Reviews, into
the decision-making process for treatment of arthritis contributes
positively to patient care
• Any improvements in the care of arthritis patients could contribute to
meeting the Healthy People 2020 objectives for
• Free tutorials and user guides for The Cochrane Library are available at
• For further assistance with content specific to this presentation, contact
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. (2013). The Cochrane Library. Retrieved
from http://ezproxy.twu.edu:2179/view/0/ index.html
Wiley. (n.d.). Part 1. The Cochrane library – An introduction.
Retrieved from http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/view/0/
Presentation created by Lynn Bostwick for LS5473.20 7/29/2013