Skip to main content

Systematic Reviews in the Health Sciences

About Critical Appraisal

Critical Appraisal flow diagram

What do I appraise?

Study design – how was the trial designed and maintained?

Quality – can the results be trusted?  Are the people conducting the trial independent from   drug companies?  Are autonomous people conducting the  randomization and blinding?

Trial maintenance – were the treatments administered properly throughout the trial and did the participants comply and stay with the trial?

Objectivity - are the results and statistics objective with no interference or skewing from parties likely to gain from the outcome?   

Applicability – are the results relevant to the specific clinical context and can they be applied to all patients with a specific problem? (Littlewood, 2011)

The Critical Appraisal Worksheets at CEBM will guide you through the process.

 

Image retrieved 31-Oct, 2013 from: http://csjc.informer.org.in/how-it-works

Critical Appraisal using the GATE Frame

The GATE Frame makes Critical Appraisal of all studies, trials and reviews simple using diagrams.  You can also use it to answer clinical questions using PICOT  for Evidence Based Practice.(Jackson et al., 2006)  This Prezi demonstrates Critical Appraisal of an RCT (Randomized Controlled Trial ) using the GATE frame.