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Allopathic Medicine: NSU MD Library Guide: EBM & Critical Appraisal

An instructional pathfinder to researching for Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine

Resources for Critical Appraisals

"Critical appraisal skills enable you to assess the trustworthiness, relevance and results of published papers so that you can decide if they are believable and useful."

The critical appraisal process provides clinicians with the tools to interpret the quality of studies and determine the applicability of the synthesis of multiple studies' results to their patients. 

The validity of a study refers to whether the results of the study were obtained via sound scientific methods. Bias (defined as the systematic deviation from the truth) and/or confounding variables may compromise the validity of the finding. The reliability of the study's results are determined by the size of the intervention's effect (the effect size) and how precisely that effect was estimated. This part of critical appraisal examines the numerical data reported in the results section of a study.  When critically appraising the the usefulness of a study for clinical decision making, a basic aspect of applicability is to evaluate the study's patients in comparison with the patients to whom the evidence would be applied.


How to Appraise an Article


Many resources are available to help with the critical appraisal process. 



EBM Calculators

These calculators were developed by the Knowledge Translation Program in Toronto. They include calculators for statistics and Odds Ratio to NNT Converter.

Diagnostic Test Calculator

This calculator can determine diagnostic test characteristics (sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios) and/or determine the post-test probability of disease given given the pre-test probability and test characteristics.

Clinical Calculator 1

Population Prevalence, Sensitivity, Specificity, Predictive Values, & Likelihood Ratios

Clinical Calculator 2

Predictive Values and Likelihood Ratios