St George’s library hosts regular training sessions introducing users to the key concepts of critical appraisal. The session discusses the skills required to appraise and evaluate research literature, helping to guide the process of judging whether research is trustworthy, relevant and of value. The course also gives an overview of the tools and techniques which can be used to support the critical appraisal of scientific evidence.
Bitesize videos on critical appraisal of an RCT can be found on this YouTube channel from the library team at Bart's.
The checklists created by the Critical Appraisals Skills Programme (CASP) are designed to help you critically appraise articles of a variety of types of research, including systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials (RCTs), qualitative research and cohort studies, among others. The CASP appraisal tools were developed from guides produced by the Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
SIGN critical appraisal notes and checklists
The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidance Network (SIGN), part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, also have a range of checklists to support the critical appraisal of different types of research papers. Each checklist is accompanied by a set of notes to guide you through the checklist questions.
CEBM appraisal tools and checklists
The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) is part of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. They have produced a set of critical appraisal worksheets on systematic reviews, diagnostic and prognostic studies, as well as randomised controlled trials, each of which have been translated into a number of different languages, including Chinese and Spanish.
CEBM Levels of Evidence
The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) also produced Levels of Evidence, which is designed to be used to help rank the available evidence and support decision making. It offers a hierarchy of the likely best evidence.
NCCMT Learning Centre
Canada’s National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools offers a series of online modules on evidence-informed public health
, which include a number of guides to critical appraisal of different types of evidence, including systematic reviews and qualitative studies.