Introduction to Systematic Reviews

Data Extraction and Screening Tools

Critical Appraisal and Risk of Bias Tools

As you gather a body of literature, it is important to learn how to critically appraise a clinical research paper. This helps 

  1. Does this study address a clearly focused question?
  2. Did the study use valid methods to address this question?
  3. Are the valid results of this study important?
  4. Are these valid, important results applicable to my patient or population?

From the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine

As part of critically appraising an article, you also need to assess the risk of bias. Risk of bias is defined as the risk of systematic error in results or inferences. This is important as the development of sophisticated quasi-experimental study designs, and systematic reviews are increasingly incorporating non-randomized studies into evidence syntheses.

Below are some methodological tools you can use for critically appraising an article and assessing the risk of bias, based on study design.