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Evidence-Based Practice: Appraise

What is Critical Appraisal?

   Critical appraisal is a critical evaluation of research literature. It's essential for informed decision-making that seeks       to identify the strengths and limitations of the studies found.   

    Critical appraisal evaluates:
    Credibility - author qualifications, reputability (peer-review)
    Accuracy - currency of the evidence
    Reasonability - objective, unbiased (research question, study design, funding, publishing)
                                                  Support - use of references

Image taken from AIChE webinar:

Questions to ask when appraising evidence:

  1. What is the research question and why was the study needed?
  2. Does the study have new findings? Is the work original and important?
  3. Does the research question address: the group or population of patients, the intervention or therapy, and the outcome/s?
  4. Did the authors use the right type of study in relation to the research question? For example: Therapy questions > Randomised controlled trials
  5. Did the chosen study design minimise bias?
  6. Was the study designed in line with the original protocol i.e. stated methods? For example, were there changes to the inclusion or exclusion criteria?
  7. Has the study's hypothesis (expected outcome) been tested?
  8. Is the analysis of the data accurate?
  9. Are the conclusions based on the data and analysis?
  10. Does the study contribute to the understanding of the problem being investigated?

Critical Appraisal Tools


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