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Critical Appraisal is the process of assessing and interpreting evidence, by systematically considering its’ quality, validity, results and relevance to your own work/in a particular context - weighing up evidence to see how useful it is in decision making.
Critical appraisal skill is a key component of Evidence Based Practice and hence essential to informed decision making.


What are the essential components of Evidence Based Practice?

  • Formulating a well-built question (This can be done using the PICO acronymn)
  • Identifying articles and other evidence-based resources that answer the question
  • Critically appraising the evidence to assess its validity
  • Applying the evidence
  • Re-evaluating the application of evidence and areas for improvement

(David Sackett, 1996)


The purpose of this guide is to provide basic criteria and information to consider when trying to decide if the study methodology is sound. The guide will focus on evaluating the validity of the study (we will not get into the appraisal of the results and applicability)