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Evidence Based Practice: Appraising the Evidence

Appraising the Evidence

Critical appraisal uses intrinsic (e.g. research design) not extrinsic (e.g.author, journal, institution) factors which is more commonly used in evaluating web sites.

When appraising an article, it needs to meet the following three requirements:

  • Quality (the methodology should include trials that are randomised and double blind to avoid selection and observer bias)
  • Validity (trials need to mimic clinical practice, or used in clinical practice, with outcomes that make sense)
  • Reliability (trials are credible and repeatable)
  • There are a number of checklists / tools available on the Internet to assist you in undertaking critical appraisal of evidence. E.g.

  • How to use the evidence: assessment and application of scientific evidence (Australian Medical Research Council)

This handbook focuses on how to evaluate and use the evidence gathered from a systematic literature review to inform the development of evidence-based clinical guidelines.

See below for further appraisal tools & checklist examples.