A unique feature of PEDro is that articles reporting the results of randomised controlled trials are pre-appraised. Trained raters use the PEDro scale to assess the methodological quality and completeness of statistical reporting to give each trial a score of 10. Each trial is independently evaluated by two raters and, if they disagree on any PEDro scale items, a third rater arbitrates. As at October 2022, over 42,000 trials have been evaluated using the PEDro scale. The scores are used to rank the search results so that PEDro users can quickly identify the trials that are likely to be valid and provide sufficient data to guide clinical decision-making.
Volunteer PEDro raters make an invaluable contribution to appraising trials indexed in PEDro. There has been a four-fold increase in the number of volunteers between 2013 (n=25) and 2022 (n=99). In a recent editorial published in the Journal of Physiotherapy, four volunteer PEDro raters outline the benefits of volunteering along with how to become a volunteer rater.
Being a volunteer rater allows physiotherapists to contribute to the PEDro global evidence resource and multinational educational initiative from any location and at any time. The editorial outlines 28 benefits of being a PEDro rater that apply to all clinicians, researchers, students, and bilingual volunteers. Importantly, rating enhances reading and appraisal skills, allows you to keep up to date with new and clinically relevant research, and improve patient care through practice change guided by high-quality clinical research. One of the great motivations to be a volunteer PEDro rater is to contribute to the strengthening of evidence-based physiotherapy around the world.
To become a volunteer PEDro rater, you must demonstrate proficiency with the PEDro scale. PEDro offers an online self-paced training program. The program provides step-by-step training with instructional videos, real-world examples, and practice articles to obtain feedback about your rating skills. Subscribers who pass the final accuracy test receive a certificate and can become a volunteer rater. More details can be accessed at the PEDro training website.