Objective: To compare the comprehensiveness of indexing the reports of randomised controlled trials of physiotherapy interventions by eight bibliographic databases (AMED, CENTRAL, CINAHL, EMBASE, Hooked on Evidence, PEDro, PsycINFO and PubMed).
Design: Audit of bibliographic databases.
Methods: Two hundred and eighty-one reports of randomised controlled trials of physiotherapy interventions were identified by screening the reference lists of 30 relevant systematic reviews published in four consecutive issues of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Issue 3, 2007 to Issue 2, 2008). AMED, CENTRAL, CINAHL, EMBASE, Hooked on Evidence, PEDro, PsycINFO and PubMed were used to search for the trial reports. The number of trial reports indexed in each database was calculated.
Results: PEDro indexed 99% of the trial reports, CENTRAL indexed 98%, PubMed indexed 91%, EMBASE indexed 82%, CINAHL indexed 61%, Hooked on Evidence indexed 40%, AMED indexed 36% and PsycINFO indexed 17%. Most trial reports (92%) were indexed on four or more of the databases. One trial report was indexed on a single database (PEDro).
Conclusions: Of the eight bibliographic databases examined, PEDro and CENTRAL provide the most comprehensive indexing of reports of randomised trials of physiotherapy interventions.