Critical appraisal: an online course
Posted on May 21, 2013 by Donatas Zailskas
Name of resource:
This tutorial is aimed at one of the most important skills of a future doctor seeking to practice evidence-based medicine (EBM): critical appraisal of literature. We all know that there are tons of scientific studies out there and all of them differ in quality, ranging from quite poor to excellent examples. The studies you read leave an important mark on your clinical practice, so the ability to look at a scientific paper critically is extremely important and exactly what this tutorial is trying to teach the reader. This tutorial provides a reader with a template to make things easier, discusses a few simple statistical concepts and introduces to the CATmaker software to help calculate the standard outcomes for various types of studies (don’t worry, it’s easy). According to the description, this software, amongst other things, provides you with an online critical appraisal guide, calculates some clinically useful measures and even gives you one page summaries of chosen articles. Too bad it didn’t work on my computer, but I’ll surely try to find a working copy later. By the end of this tutorial you should know how to do various things – from defining the critical appraisal itself to critically appraising a given paper. Also, there are plenty of exercises!
Who is it aimed at?
This tutorial by the University of South Wales in Australia is aimed at young medical students and newly graduated doctors as a next step after finishing the previous three QMP tutorials.
How long might it take to finish?
Obviously, the time you spend on this tutorial depends on your knowledge on EBM; however, this is the 4th tutorial by QMP and so one of the shorter ones. It would probably take about half an hour to complete.
This tutorial was quite short and easy, so it’s also one of the must-haves. I’m a bit of an information geek, so I value all the resources that I can store in my browser. This QMP Medical Statistics Tutorial is amongst those resources and I plan on using it in the future.
 Rachel Thompson, Mike Bennett, Ed Loughman. QMP Medical Statistics Tutorial: Critical Appraisal [Internet]. University of New South Wales, Faculty of Medicine; 2008 [updated 15 March 2013; cited 21 May 2013]. Available from:http://web.med.unsw.edu.au/QMP/QMPTut4_2012/Tut4_Intro.htm