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Critical Appraisal Tools

This guide describes tools to critically evaluate evidenced based reviews and study designs

Critical Appraisal of Studies

Critical appraisal is the process of carefully and systematically examining research to judge its trustworthiness, and its value/relevance in a particular context by providing a framework to evaluate the research. During the critical appraisal process, researchers can:

  • Decide whether studies have been undertaken in a way that makes their findings reliable as well as valid and unbiased
  • Make sense of the results
  • Know what these results mean in the context of the decision they are making
  • Determine if the results are relevant to their patients/schoolwork/research

Burls, A. (2009). What is critical appraisal? In What Is This Series: Evidence-based medicine. Available online at What is Critical Appraisal?

Critical appraisal is included in the process of writing high quality reviews, like systematic and integrative reviews and for evaluating evidence from RCTs and other study designs. For more information on systematic reviews, check out our Systematic Review guide.