How to Critically Appraise a Paper

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How to Critically Appraise a Paper

By | March 2012
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How to critically appraise a paper

How to review a paper1
Checklist for a qualitative research paper3
Checklist for material provided by a pharmaceutical company representative4 Checklist for a paper that claims to validate a diagnostic or screening test4 Checklist for a set of clinical guidelines4

Checklist for a systematic review or meta-analysis4
Checklist for an economic analysis5
Checklist for health care organisations working towards an evidence based culture for clinical and purchasing decisions5 Checklist for searching Medline or the Cochrane library6

How to review a paper

Determine what a paper is about

• Why was the study done (what clinical question did it examine)? • Is there a clear description of the problem
• Is the study useful and relevant to General Practice • If the study is conducted in a hospital environment, can the results be interpreted in a general practice situation • Was the study design appropriate to the broad field of research examined (therapy, diagnosis, screening, prognosis, causation)? • What type of study was done?

- Primary research (experiment, randomised controlled trial, other controlled clinical trial, cohort study, case-control study, cross sectional survey, longitudinal survey, case report, or case series)? - Secondary research (simple overview, systematic review, meta-analysis, decision analysis, guideline development, economic analysis)? • Was the study ethical?

- Are there are any ethical objections to the design or reporting of the study • Is there a review of the literature
• Is the writing style easily understood
• Is the paper was well laid out and easy to follow

Paper methodology

• The design of the study is consistent with the aims
- Observational studies - qualitative, by interviewing - Observational studies - quantitative, obtain baseline values - Retrospective studies -...

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