Step 3 - Appraise

Critical Appraisal Tool

This is a critical appraisal tool (CAT) which was designed by UNSW Medicine but is equally applicable across allied health areas including optometry. A CAT is useful when appraising research evidence, since it provides a list of key points to look for during critique, helping to identify confounding factors related to factors such as masking, randomisation, control and other forms of bias. Use the tool while you read a research paper, as a checklist or reminder of key points to look for.

Ask, Acquire, Appraise

This resource is a description of an assignment I have used in a postgraduate course on Evidence-based Optometry, but which could also be used at undergraduate level or by practitioners wishing to hone their EBP skills. The assignment involves working through the first three steps of the EBP process: Ask (formulating a clinical question around a clinical scenario), Acquire (obtain research evidence to address the question) and Appraise (evaluate the evidence to find the best available evidence relevant to the clinical question).

Introduction to EBP in Optometry


"application of knowledge to decision making in optometric practice"


EBP involves

Acquisition and use of:

                        Information skills

Step 3: Appraise

 Step 3: Appraise

Critical Appraisal

How to Read a Paper

Carefully reading a paper to decide if we can and should apply the results to our patients is called critical appraisal. Learning how to do this well is difficult and takes practice. It is however crucial to your ability to properly understand the importance of clinical study reports. In this section we will start with asking a few questions about a selected paper.

Barriers to EBP Task

A list of barriers and strategies to EBP specific to optometry and eye care professionals.


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