Critical appraisal is a systematic process through which the strengths and weaknesses of a research study can be identified. This process enables the reader to assess the study's usefulness and whether its findings are trustworthy. The most important component of critical appraisal is careful assessment of the study design; however, other steps, such as evaluation of the statistical methods used, interpretation of the findings and potential conflicts of interest are also essential. Finally, consideration of the importance of the research to one's own patients will help clinicians identify the most relevant, high-quality studies available to guide their clinical practice.
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Jane M Young, Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, PO Box M157, Missenden Road, NSW 2050, Australia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nat Clin Pract Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009;6(2):82-91. © 2009 Nature Publishing Group
Cite this: How to Critically Appraise an Article - Medscape - Feb 01, 2009.