Health Sciences: Critical appraisal

Guide to resources for assessment tasks in health issues, health education and public health

Evaluating the evidence

Evaluating the evidence for quality is a critical component of evidence based practice. Consider where the evidence sits in the evidence hierarchy and use the strongest evidence possible. If there is not any evidence available at the top levels, you may need to drop lower in the hierarchy. Be critical

Consider:

  • Credibility - author qualifications, reputability (peer-review)
  • Accuracy - currency of the evidence
  • Reasonability - objective, unbiased (research question, study design, funding, publishing), transparency of methodologies
  • Support - use of references

Evaluating webpages

The Monash University Research and Learning Online site demonstrates the finer points of Evaluating web pages. This page also has a printable PDF version (3031 KB).

Be judicious in your use of free reference material on the internet. For example Wikipedia is a collaborative online encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute. Information in Wikipedia is not necessarily accurate nor authoritative, however it can be a starting point to identify keywords which relate to your research topic.

Critical appraisal guides

Useful books