Pocket Guide to Critical Appraisal

  • ID: 2221567
  • Book
  • 78 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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This concise guide to the assessment of medical research is designed to accompany every library visit. The first section of the book introduces the rationale behind critical appraisal, discusses the questions to be asked of each section of paper and identifies the common pitfalls ion published research.

The second section tackles the five main genres of medical research in detail:

surveys

clinical trials

cohort studies

case control studies

review papers

Each method is given a comprehensive one page checklist to aid the reader in assessing the methodological quality and clinical relevance of published studies. Experiences researchers will be able to rely on the checklists alone as an aide–memoire, but all of the checklists questions are expanded and discussed in the accompanying text.
This highly practical guide is written in a lively and jargon–free style and will be an indispensable companion to all health professionals and students.
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1 Introducing critical appraisal.

Clarify your reasons for reading.

Specify your information need.

Identify the relevant reports.

Critically appraise the papers.

2 Questions of reading a paper.

Is it of interest?.

Why was it done?.

How was it done?.

What has it found?.

What are the implications?.

What else is of interest?.

3 Identifying the research method.

Surveys.

Cohort studies.

Clinical trials.

Case–control studies.

4 Interpreting the results.

Statistical significance.

The play of chance.

Probability.

The logic of statistical tests.

Confidence intervals.

Pitfalls in the analysis.

Outliers.

Skew.

Non–independence.

Serendipity masquerading as hypothesis.

Black–box analyses.

Bias.

Confounding.

5 Introduction to the checklists.

Evaluating the flaws.

Best case/worst case/likely case.

6 The standard appraisal questions.

Are Aims clearly stated?.

Was the sample size justified?.

Are the measurements likely to be valid and reliable?.

Are the statistical methods described?.

Did untoward events occur during the study?.

Were the basic data adequately described?.

Do the numbers add up?.

Was the statistical significance assessed?.

What do the main findings mean?.

How are null findings interpreted?.

Are important effects overlooked?.

How do the results compare with previous reports?.

What implications does the study have for your practice?.

7 Appraising surveys.

Essential appraisal.

The specific questions.

Rationale for the essential questions.

Rationale for the specific questions.

The complete list for the appraisal of surveys.

8 Appraising cohort studies.

Essential appraisal.

The specific questions.

Rationale for the essential questions.

Rationale for the specific questions.

The complete list for the appraisal of cohort studies.

9 Appraising clinical trials.

The Essential appraisal.

The specific questions.

Rationale for the essential questions.

Rationale for the specific questions.

The complete list for the appraisal of clinical trials.

10 Appraising case–control studies.

The Essential appraisal.

The specific questions.

Rationale for the essential questions.

Rationale for the specific questions.

The complete list for the appraisal of case–control studies.

11 Appraising review papers.

The Essential appraisal.

The specific questions.

Rationale for the essential questions.

Rationale for the specific questions.

The complete list for the appraisal of review papers.

Index.

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Everything you need to know to assess medical research is contained in this practical, accessible handbook. It provides a basic introduction to the principles and processes involved in critical appraisal, helping the researcher to make sense of the overwhelming mass of medical literature available. (Companies and products Data, 9 February 2013)

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