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Critical Appraisal

Use this guide to find information resources about critical appraisal including checklists, books and journal articles.

Last updated: 10/01/2022

Key Resources

Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP)
Centre for Evidence Based Medicine: Critical appraisal tools
  • Worksheets for appraising systematic reviews, diagnostics, prognostics and RCTs.
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Cochrane: Evidence essentials
  • A free online for both healthcare staff and patients; four modules of 30–45 minutes provide an introduction to evidence based medicine, clinical trials and Cochrane Evidence.
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Joanna Briggs Institute: Critical appraisal tools
PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis)
  • The PRISMA flow diagram depicts the flow of information through the different phases of a literature review. It maps out the number of records identified, included and excluded, and the reasons for exclusions.
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The Campbell Collaboration: Methodological Expectations of Campbell Collaboration Intervention Reviews (MECCIR)
  • A useful resource for methods and evidence in applied social science.
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The Equator Network
  • A comprehensive database of reporting guidelines. Covers all the main study types.
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AMSTAR
  • A tool to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews.
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Books

Aveyard H (2019) Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide (4th edition), London: Open University Press. Aveyard H (2019) Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide. 4th edn. London: Open University Press.
Barker evidence Barker J H (2016) Evidence-based practice for nurses and healthcare professionals. 3rd edn. Los Angeles: Sage. 
Booth A, Sutton A and Papaioannou D (2016) Systematic approaches to a successful literature review (2nd edition), Los Angeles: Sage. Booth A, Sutton A and Papaioannou D (2016) Systematic approaches to a successful literature review. 2nd edn. Los Angeles: Sage.
Bootland D and others (2016) Critical appraisal from papers to patient: a practical guide. London: CRC Press. Bootland D and others (2016) Critical appraisal from papers to patient: a practical guide. London: CRC Press.
  • Section 1 covers an introduction to critical appraisal. Section 3 covers appraising difference types of papers including qualitative papers and observational studies.
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Casey D, Clark L and Hayes S (2017) Study skills for master’s level students: a reflective approach for health and social care. 2nd edn. London: Lantern. Casey D, Clark L and Hayes S (2017) Study skills for master’s level students: a reflective approach for health and social care. 2nd edn. London: Lantern.
Doing a literature review in nursing, health and social care Coughlan M and Cronin P (2020) Doing a literature review in nursing, health and social care. 3rd edn. Los Angeles: Sage. 
Elwood M (2017) Critical appraisal of epidemiological studies and clinical trials, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Elwood M (2017) Critical appraisal of epidemiological studies and clinical trials. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gerrish K, and Lathlean J (2015) The research process in nursing (7th edition), Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. Gerrish K, and Lathlean J (2015) The research process in nursing. 7th edn. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.
Greenhalgh T (2019) How to read a paper: the basics of evidence-based medicine and healthcare (6th edition), Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons. Greenhalgh T (2019) How to read a paper: the basics of evidence-based medicine and healthcare. 6th edn. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.
Gray J (2016) Burns and Grove’s the practice of nursing research: appraisal, synthesis and generation of evidence (8th edition), Philadelphia: Saunders. Gray J R and Grove S K (2020) Burns and Grove’s the practice of nursing research: appraisal, synthesis and generation of evidence. 9th edn. Philadelphia: Saunders. 
LoBiondo-Wood G and Haber J (2018) Nursing research: methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice (9th edition), St Louis: Elsevier. LoBiondo-Wood G and Haber J (2018) Nursing research: methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice. 9th edn. St Louis: Elsevier.
Schmidt N (2019) Evidence based practice for nurses: appraisal and application of research (4th edition), Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning. Schmidt N (2019) Evidence based practice for nurses: appraisal and application of research. 4th edn. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

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Journal articles

Buccheri RK and Sharifi C (2017) Critical appraisal tools and reporting guidelines for evidence‐based practice, Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing, 14(6), pp. 463-472.
Connelly LM (2016) Trustworthiness in qualitative research. (Understanding research), MedSurg Nursing, 25 (6), pp.435-436.
Fineout-Overholt E, Melnyk BM, Stillwell SB and Williamson KM (2010) Critical appraisal of the evidence: part I. An introduction to gathering, evaluating and recording the evidence, American Journal of Nursing, 110 (7), pp.47-52.
Fineout-Overholt E, Melnyk BM, Stillwell, SB and Williamson KM (2010) Critical appraisal of the evidence: part II. Digging deeper—examining the "keeper" studies, American Journal of Nursing, 110 (9), pp. 41-48.
Fineout-Overholt E, Melnyk BM, Stillwell SB and Williamson KM (2010) Critical appraisal of the evidence: Part III. The process of synthesis: seeing similarities and differences across the body of evidence, American Journal of Nursing, 110 (11), pp. 43-51.
Heale R and Twycross A (2015) Validity and reliability in quantitative studies, Evidence-Based Nursing, 18 (3), pp.66-67.
Myers G and Levin RF (2012) "Can you touch your toes? Using tables of evidence (TOES) to organize your evidence review", Research and Theory for Nursing Practice, 26 (4), pp.238-240.
Noble H and Smith J (2015) Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research", Evidence-Based Nursing, 18 (2), pp.34-35

Shea BJ and others (2017) AMSTAR 2: a critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews that include randomised or non-randomised studies of healthcare interventions or both, British Medical Journal, 358.

Smith J and Noble H (2014) Bias in research, Evidence-Based Nursing, 17 (4), pp. 100-101.
Smith J and Noble H (2016) Reviewing the literature, Evidence-Based Nursing, 19 (1), pp. 2-3.
Stonehouse D (2016) Evidence-based practice: knowing what's good or bad, British Journal of Healthcare Assistants, 10 (4), pp. 199-201.
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Journals

Journal of Research in Nursing Journals of interest for critical appraisal. Use these links to see details of availability.

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Page last updated - 10/01/2022