Critical Apprisal Course

This one-day course aims to improve your ability to critically appraise published research - a key skill for anyone involved in using and/or undertaking research.

You'll look at the importance of defining a meaningful research question, and the key factors involved in answering a research question in an efficient and valid way.

The topics covered will help you design your own research study and/or evaluate existing published material.

Course content

  • Defining a research question
  • Observational and experimental study designs
  • Sampling and randomisation
  • Bias and confounding
  • Research protocols, checklists and records
  • Competing study designs
  • Displays and analysis of data
  • Common pitfalls in analysis
  • Reporting of results
  • Validity of the results with respect to the research question

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • understand when critical appraisal might be useful
  • access relevant web resources and checklists
  • understand the strengths and limitations of checklists for appraisal
  • understand how to evaluate the analyses performed by others
  • identify the components of a research question
  • understand different approaches to addressing a defined research question and evaluate the use of these
  • recognise which statistical tests are appropriate in different situations