Critical appraisal resources

We have provided a list of books and websites you may find useful as an aid to critically appraising a research paper.


  • CASP The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) was set up as a programme within Learning & Development at the Public Health Resource Unit, Oxford. CASP aims to enable individuals to develop the skills to find and make sense of research evidence. The website gives access to critical appraisal checklists which guide the appraisal of a systematic review, observational study, or experimental study.
  • Centre for Evidence Based Child Health The Centre for Evidence-Based Child Health is based within the Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  It was established by Great Ormond Street Hospital Trust and the Institute of Child Health, London, in 1995 as a part of a national network of Centres for Evidence-Based Health Care.  The Centre's activities build on the experience and expertise of the Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics and on the clinical links with Great Ormond Street Hospital. The ever-increasing volume and diversity of information makes it difficult for clinicians and others to keep up-to-date with the latest developments. A major challenge of the National Health Service is to ensure that clinical and other decisions relevant to the care of sick children and the prevention of illness and disability are based on the best available evidence. The Centre for Evidence-Based Child Health was set up to address this challenge through an education and research programme designed to help health practitioners acquire the necessary skills to integrate the critical analysis of evidence underpinning their day to day decisions into their practice.
  • Centre for Evidence Based Medicine The CEBM in Oxford is one of several centres around the country whose broad aim is to promote evidence-based health care and provide support and resources to anyone who wants to make use of them. The website contains a useful introduction to Evidence Based Medicine, as well as downloads and EBM tools.
  • TRIAGE The Trent Research Information Access Gateway links to a large number of resources on critical appraisal
  • Canadian Centre for Health Evidence - Users guides to the medical literature The Centre for Health Evidence is a not-for-profit organization based at the University of Alberta. We are dedicated to helping health organizations and associations find and apply best evidence in daily practice. We work on a project basis, and use a variety of communication and information technologies to create decision support tools and services
  • Agree Instrument The purpose of the Appraisal of Guidelines Research & Evaluation (AGREE) Instrument is to provide a framework for assessing the quality of clinical practice guidelines. The AGREE Instrument assesses both the quality of the reporting, and the quality of some aspects of recommendations. It provides an assessment of the predicted validity of a guideline, that is the likelihood that it will achieve its intended outcome. It does not assess the impact of a guideline on patients’ outcomes. Most of the criteria contained in the AGREE Instrument are based on theoretical assumptions rather than on empirical evidence. They have been developed through discussions between researchers from several countries who have extensive experience and knowledge of clinical guidelines.
  • The Consort Statement Website CONSORT, which stands for Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials, encompasses various initiatives developed by the CONSORT Group to alleviate the problems arising from inadequate reporting of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).The main product of CONSORT is the CONSORT Statement, which is an evidence-based, minimum set of recommendations for reporting RCTs. It offers a standard way for authors to prepare reports of trial findings, facilitating their complete and transparent reporting, and aiding their critical appraisal and interpretation


  • Crombie, I WA950 CRO The pocket guide to critical appraisal a handbook for health care professionals BMJ, 1996
  • DiCenso, A WA950 DIC Evidence based nursing: a guide to clinical practice Elsevier Mosby, 2005
  • Egger M, Smith GD, Altman DG WA950 EGG Systematic reviews in health care: meta-analysis in context BMJ Books, 2001 This is a popular introduction to the science of reviewing biomedical research. It contains chapters devoted to performing and appraising systematic reviews, and the application of systematic reviews in clinical guidelines development.
  • Gehlbach, S HV7 GEH Interpreting the medical literature McGraw-Hill, Medical Pub. Division, 2006
  • Greenhalgh T WA950 GRE How to read a paper (3rd ed) BMJ Books, 2006 This is a clear and comprehensive introduction to the usefulness and potential applications of evidence based medicine in the clinical setting. It gives guidance on how to find a research paper, assess it, and put the findings into practice.
  • Guyatt G, Rennie D (Eds) WA950 GUY Users’ guides to the medical literature. A manual for evidence-based clinical practice American Medical Association, 2002 This is a comprehensive guide to evidence-based practice, containing case scenarios and clinical examples of evidence-based practice, how to search for the best evidence, and how to apply it to your clinical practice.
  • Hamer, S WA950 HAM Achieving evidence-based practice a handbook for practitioners Baillière Tindall Elsevier, 2005
  • Hewitt-Taylor, J WA950 HEW Clinical guidelines and care protocols Whurr, 2006
  • LoBiondo-Wood, Geri WY30 LOB Nursing research methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice Mosby Elsevier, 2006
  • Meates M, Duperrex O, Gilbert R, Logan S WA950 STR Practising evidence-based child health Radcliffe Medical Press, 2000 This manual outlines a course for clinicians on how to practise evidence-based child health, including guidance on critical appraisal of the evidence.
  • Peat, J WA950 PEA Medical statistics a guide to data analysis and critical appraisal Blackwell, 2005

Page last modified on 31 aug 11 13:49