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Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)

Appraising the Evidence

Critical appraisal is an integral process in evidence-based practice that seeks to identify the strengths and limitations of the studies found.

Questions to ask when appraising evidence:

  • What is the research question and why was the study needed?
  • Does the study have new findings? Is the work original and important?
  • Does the research question address: the group or population of patients, the intervention or therapy, and the outcome(s)?
  • Did the authors use the right type of study in relation to the research question? For example: Therapy questions > Randomized controlled trials
  • Did the chosen study design minimize bias?
  • Was the study designed in line with the original protocol i.e. stated methods? For example, were there changes to the inclusion or exclusion criteria?
  • Has the study's hypothesis (expected outcome) been tested?
  • Is the analysis of the data accurate?
  • Are the conclusions based on the data and analysis?
  • Does the study contribute to the understanding of the problem being investigated?

Critical Appraisal Tools