EBM Corner: How to critically appraise an article

This paper presents a useful, up-to-date methodology that can be used for the critical appraisal of published articles.
While there have been numerous papers that aid in helping a reader assess the value of a paper, the criteria used to evaluate the varied and different types of evidence-based studies can be affected by new advances and research. The current paper presents, in an up-to-date and easy-to-understand manner, a methodology for the critical appraisal of a range of such studies. The authors list a series of specific questions that need to be asked when undertaking systematic assessments. The studies assessed include research articles, systematic reviews, randomized clinical trials, cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, case studies and diagnostic accuracy studies. Be prepared for a host of acronyms that populate this world, viz. CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials), RCT (randomized controlled trial), CASP (Critical Appraisal Skills Programme), QUORUM (Quality of Reporting Meta Analyses), MOOSE (Meta Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) and STARD (Standards for Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy). Many will be helped in their judgment of the literature by following the authors’ suggested approach.

Link article: Nature, full text


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