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Even articles published in peer-reviewed journals may still have issues with methodology, reports or conclusions drawn. Critical appraisal enable assessment of these results, relevance and validity of published papers so that decision can be made about the authority of research and applicabitiy to the local population.
Look for a research problem (usually in the abstract, title or introduction)
What is the purpose? Check the abstract
Does it have a bias?
What are the authors affiliations?
Is it a literature review?
Is it a hypothesis or research question?
Who funded the research?
What is the sample or population interest?
What is the type of research or study?
Benefits versus harm/costs?
Introduction to Critical Appraisal
Critical appraisal tools/guides
Checklists assist in learning to critically appraise medical research and are available for a range of study designs.
The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) is part of Better Value Healthcare, a training organisation led by Professor Sir Muir Gray, and based in Oxford. It is best known for its checklists, a set of eight critical appraisal tools designed to be used when reading research.
The OT seeker includes a critical appraisal tutorial from a team of occupational therapists from two major Australian universities.