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Nursing and Midwifery: Critical appraisal

Resources for students and staff

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


  • 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 site demonstrates the finer points of evaluating web pages. (doc, 104KB)

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.

Critical appraisal guides

Note: All links open in a new window.

Critical appraisal skills programme (CASP) checklists - critical appraisal guides for randomised control trials, systematic reviews, etc.

Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine appraisal sheets/tools - another useful set of critical appraisal guides.

Sample article on appraising qualitative research articles - published in the journal Medical Teacher

Improving journal club presentations