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Evidence Based Medicine

What is Critical Appraisal?

Critical appraisal is the process of carefully and systematically examining research to judge its trustworthiness, and its value and relevance in a particular context. It is an essential skill for evidence-based medicine because it allows clinicians to find and use research evidence reliably and efficiently

Burls, A. (2009). What is critical appraisal? In What Is This Series: Evidence-based medicine. Available online at What is Critical Appraisal?

Critical appraisal provides a framework for evaluating individual articles to determine if the information in the article is valid and appropriate for the individual patient in your care. There are a number of resources and tools to aid you in the appraisal process.

Tools for Critical Appraisal

The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford provides worksheets and calculators to assess systematic reviews, diagnostic, prognosis, and RCT article types. See their specific Critical Appraisal tools.

Dartmouth provides a series of worksheets designed to aid you in formulating clinical questions, appraising the evidence, and applying the evidence to practice.

CASP provides worksheets to appraise randomized control trials, systematic reviews, cohort studies, case control studies, qualitative research, economic evaluations, diagnostic tests, and clinical prediction rules.

Links to the 'User's Guides to the Medical Literature' series of articles designed to promote incorporation of evidence into practice.

JBI's critical appraisal tools assist in assessing the trustworthiness, relevance, and results of published papers.