Critical appraisal checklists
There are numerous checklists available to act as aide-mémoires for evaluating studies and they can be very useful.
The SR toolbox is a website providing regularly updated lists of the available guidance and software for each stage of the systematic review process, including screening and quality assessment.
Critical appraisal is much more than a 'tick box' exercise. It is needed to evaluate the weight we can put on the findings, and how far we can generalize the results from trials into routine practice to inform clinical care.
Since these pragmatic issues always need to be borne in mind when critically appraising study data, here we present some examples of checklists for different study types and some information for tricky critical appraisal scenarios.
Appraising two-armed RCTs
Appraising multiple-armed RCTs
Appraising diagnostic test studies
Appraising systematic reviews
Assessing multiple systematic reviews on the same question
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