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Critical Appraisal Tools

The following documents from the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) website. You can use them to critically appraise published trials.

The PRISMA website contains the recommended guidelines for appraising systematic reviews and meta-analyses. PRISMA stands for Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. The PRISMA Statement outlines the background to the guidelines.

Levels of Evidence

Reporting levels of evidence is an important part of critical appraisal.

EBM levels of evidence pyramid

In Australia NHMRC Levels of Evidence are used. However  institutions around the world may use other levels of evidence. Always cite the source of the level of evidence you are using. See the following PowerPoint for an overview of available levels of evidence:

Critical Appraisal Books

What is critical appraisal and why should we use it?

It usually comes as a surprise to students to learn that some (the purists would say 99% of) published articles belong in the bin, and should certainly not be used to inform practice". Greenhalgh, p.31 2010.