Step 3 - Appraise

EBP Interest Group Workshop on Critical Appraisal

Here is a pdf copy of the slides and notes used for the second EBP Interest Group meeting conducted in March 2014 at the University of New South Wales focusing on Critical Appraisal. If you are interested in a copy of the PowerPoint slides or want to participate in the group, please contact us at

Coloured or Irlen lenses for reading difficulties - Part 3: Appraise

The clinical practice guidelines and secondary sources found require appraisal to determine how believable the conclusions are.

However developed and published appraisal tools are lacking for secondary sources, unlike primary sources.

The National Health and Medical Research Council clinical practice guideline portal reports 4 criteria for which practice guidelines, policy statements and other summaries can be appraised:

    The RoBIN-T scale for rating single case designs

    Not all single-case designs have high methodological quality. The revised Risk of Bias in N of 1 Trials (RoBiN-T) scale can be used to:

    • Identify experimental versus non-experimental single-case designs
      • Experimental designs are those which use variants of the withdrawal/reversal design (e.g. ABA), multiple baseline designs, alternating treatment designs and changing criterion designs.
      • Non-experimental designs include those that use a single phase or are bi-phasic only (eg. A-B), contain pre/post data only and case descriptions.

    PEDro-P Scale for Critical Appraisal of Group Comparison Studies

    The PEDro-P is a reliable tool to rate group comparison studies (both randomised and non-randomised control trials)

    Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group

    The Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group is (CEVG) is part of the Cochrane Collaboration. The CEVG is an international network of individuals dedicated to promoting EBP by working to prepare, maintain and promote access to systematic reviews of interventions to treat or prevent eye diseases or visual impairment.

    This website has a range of resources that may be of interest:

    Medical Statistics Tutorial

    This Medical Statistics Tutorial is an innovative resource that helps health professionals understand statistics. There is content for people just starting out and those wanting to advance their skills. Understanding statistics is a key part of interpreting data, critically appraising articles and application of research to practice.

    Topics include:

    Centre for Evidence-based Medicine (CEBM)

    The Centre for Evidence-based Medicine is comprehensive and has great theoretical information and practical tips on EBP.

    There is a range of EBM Tools that cover each step of the EBP Process.

    Of specific interest may be:

    BMJ How to Read a Paper series

    The How to Read a Paper series by Trish Greenhalgh and colleagues, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) are easy to read guides for critical appraisal of the evidence. There are multiple articles covering general and specific research designs (e.g. systematic reviews) and great resources for understanding statistics.

    Joanna Briggs Institute

    The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) is an international non-for-profit institute based in the School of Translational Science, within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. The general website provides information on evidence-based practice, syntheses using systematic reviews, resources for appraising methodological quality and also has a focus on implementing evidence-based practice.

    It has a wealth of resources that are certainly worth a look. A few special mentions include:

      Students 4 Best Evidence website

      This is an excellent student developed Evidence Based Healthcare (EBH) site!! It is supported by the UK Cochrane Centre. Look here for general EBP information, discussion on EBP topics and lots of useful links to other EBP resources. The site also provides information and resources for each of the 5 EBP Process steps:


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