Critical Appraisal

Critical Appraisal

Critical appraisal is the process of carefully and systematically assessing the outcome of scientific research (evidence) to judge its trustworthiness, value and relevance in a particular context.

Critical appraisal looks at the way a study is conducted and examines factors such as internal validity, generalisability and relevance.

Critical appraisal is an essential step in the process of evidence-based practice. Acquiring critical appraisal skills, and adopting them into your everyday practice will enable you to make informed, evidence-based decisions.

Critical Appraisal Tools

The JBI Critical Appraisal Tools
The CASP Checklists

Critically Appraise a Randomised Controlled Trial: Bite-Sized Videos

Barts Health Knowledge and Library Services have created a series of bite-sized videos to take you through the process of critically appraising a randomised controlled trial. You can watch part 1 below or view the full playlist on YouTube.


Critically Appraising the Evidence Base - eLearning

The critical appraisal programme has been designed to enable the healthcare workforce (clinical and non-clinical) to build confidence in the critical appraisal process when applying and evaluating research.

As the next step to research review, critical appraisal is the process of assessing the reliability, importance, and applicability of evidence. It can be applied to a range of written work such as formal research projects, studies and professional development to check validity and determine value.

This programme aims to support NHS colleagues with understanding the different methods and tools to carry out critical appraisal of research, through 8 bite-sized modules.

By the end of the programme, learners will be able to:

  • describe the following terms; critical appraisal, bias, internal validity and external validity
  • distinguish between different types of study designs and their strengths and limitations
  • assess the appropriateness of methods used to conduct a randomised controlled trial, systematic review, diagnostic study and qualitative study
  • interpret commonly reported results found in clinical papers
  • identify different types of critical appraisal tools and their strengths and limitations

Applicable to health and care staff at all levels, this elearning may be ‘dipped into’ for reference or completed as a whole to obtain a certificate.

Last updated: October 31, 2023


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