Appraisal is the third step in the Evidence Based Practice process. It requires that the evidence found be evaluated for its validity and clinical usefulness.
Ask 3 Questions:
From Compound Chem: "This graphic looks at the different factors that can contribute towards ‘bad’ science – it was inspired by the research I carried out for [a different project,] where many articles linked the compound to causing breast cancer, referencing scientific research which drew questionable conclusions from their results." Read more ...
Yeh RW, Valsdottir LR, Yeh MW, Shen C, Kramer DB, Strom JB, Secemsky EA, Healy JL, Domeier RM, Kazi DS, Nallamothu BK; PARACHUTE Investigators.
BMJ. 2018 Dec 13;363:k5094. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k5094. Erratum in: BMJ. 2018 Dec 18;363:k5343.
Sample questions for evaluating a study:
Read the Abstract
Skim the Introduction
Skip the Methods for now
Read Methods - If the methods has a high risk of bias, find a different article.
"Quick & Dirty" Review of a Medical Study
1) Identify the Working Hypothesis
2) Identify the Type of Study
3) State the Conditional Prediction
If [working hypothesis] is true, then in this type of study [prediction].
4) Look at the results (dat) to see if it bears out the prediction.
5) Assess the validity of the author's conclusions.
The following protocols and checklists can help you ascertain if a systematic review or metanalysis was done according to best practices.
In recent years, the drawbacks to randomized studies have become increasingly recognized.
Swanson E. Levels of evidence in cosmetic surgery: Analysis and recommendations using a new CLEAR classification. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2013;1:e66