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Critical appraisal for medical and health sciences: 2. How do I start?

A quick guide to introduce you to the concept of critical appraisal and resources available.

How do I start?

Greenhalgh (2019, p.29) advises to consider 3 key questions to get started with critical appraisal:

  1. Why was the study needed - and what was the research question?
  2. What was the research design?
  3. Was the research design appropriate to the question?

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Take a look at each of the tabs above for more detail.

1. Why was the study needed - and what was the research question?

  • The question / hypothesis should be clearly stated in the study, look out for this in the introduction, or the early part of the methods section.
  • Does the study add something to knowledge in the area? Has the question already been answered by other studies?

2. What was the research design?

  • Quantitative or qualitative research, or a combination?
  • Primary or secondary research?
  • What's the methodology?
  • Identifying the research design is important; this will determine which checklist you use for your more in-depth appraisal

3. Was the research design appropriate to the question?

  • Was this the best method of addressing this research question? 

 

 

See the checklists tab to select the appropriate tool to complete an in-depth appraisal.

These specially designed checklists will help you focus on the most important aspects of the article.

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