Critical Appraisal of Research Evidence 101
Ontario Public Health Libraries Association guide to critical appraisal of research evidence.Key Concepts addressed:
- 2-2 Comparison groups should be similar
- 2-8 Consider all of the relevant fair comparisons
- 2-17 Don’t confuse “statistical significance” with “importance”
- 2-18 Don’t confuse “no evidence” with “no effect”
- 2-9 Reviews of fair comparisons should be systematic
- 2-13 Relative measures of effects can be misleading
- 3-2 Are you very different from the people studied?
Purpose of this Guide
The purpose of this guide is to provide a brief overview of the critical appraisal process. Assessing the validity of research studies can be a complex and time-consuming undertaking. If you are conducting a lengthy evaluation, you may wish to consult more exhaustive critical appraisal resources (a list of suggested further reading has been appended to this guide). Participation in the Skills Enhancement for Public Health program offered by the Public Health Agency of Canada is recommended prior to attempting in-depth critical appraisal.