This is a basic course intended for those who need critical appraisal skills for their job or to further their professional education. You may also find it useful if you have not done critical appraisal for some time and want to revive your skills.
The course is divided into three sections. Each section starts with a video presentation. These can be taken in any order, but you will get most benefit if you take them in sequence.
Following each of the first two videos, there are practical exercises where you are asked to evaluate specific papers referred to in the video. You should do the evaluations using the SIGN checklists. Links to the checklists are provided. Once you have completed your evaluations, there are specimen answers where we have presented our thoughts on the papers you have evaluated. There are also links to these in the appropriate sections.
The course focuses largely on interventional studies. Detailed appraisal of observational studies or studies of diagnostic accuracy, is not included. If you are particularly interested in these studies, the STROBE statement gives clear guidance on how observational studies should be designed. For diagnostic studies, the Bristol University QUADAS-2 team provide resources and support.
If your interest is in public health, you may find the online module offered by the Canadian National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools a useful source of additional information and practice.
There is an optional test of learning that can be done once you have completed all the modules. Success in the test will lead to provision of a certificate confirming that you have completed this course. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for the course are being sought, and should this application be successful anyone completing the course will receive an updated certificate confirming the CPD points awarded.
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