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Critical Appraisal Guide: Critical Appraisal Guide

Critical Appraisal
This page explains what critical appraisal is and provides guidance on critically appraising research articles. 

Critical appraisal is the assessment of evidence by systematically reviewing its relevance, validity and results to specific situations.

The CASP (Critical Skills Appraisal Programme) website has a useful range of free downloadable resources which can help you structure your research strategy and help you shape your research criteria. The CASP Checklists can help you determine which studies to focus on and which match the criteria you have laid out for your systematic review. The critical appraisal tools are designed to be used when reading research and include the following:

  • Systematic Reviews
  • Randomised Controlled Trials
  • Cohort Studies, Case Control Studies
  • Economic Evaluations
  • Diagnostic Studies
  • Qualitative studies
  • Clinical Prediction Rule

Mixed Methods Tools

These links will direct you to further sources of critical appraisal help

This video presentation from Dr Andrew Booth at ScHARR, University of Sheffield, talks you through the process of critically reading a qualitative study/research paper, using the CASP checklist, with on-screen analysis and highlighting of text.

All images included in this guide are available from Upsplash through Creative Commons licensing CC-BY-2.0