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Evidence Based Practice

Use this guide to learn about the first four steps of Evidence Based Practice, get help writing your PICO question, and get started on your research.

Critically Appraise the Evidence

Take a look at each of the articles you selected in your search and answer the questions below.

1. Are the results valid?

  • How strong is the evidence?
  • What was the study design, and is it most appropriate for the question domain?
  • Was there bias?

2. Are the results important?

  • How large was the treatment effect?
  • Are results clinically significant (not just statistically significiant)?

3. Will the results help me care for my patient?

  • Does it answer my question?
  • Is the study's patient population similar enough to my patient (after exclusion criteria)?

4. Does this resource help me answer my PICO/Clinical question well enough to write about it?

  • Is it an important article in this particular field?
  • Does it directly address at least one part of my PICO question?
  • Will it help me make my argument?

Recommended Resource

Critical appraisal worksheets are available at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. Click the CEBM banner below. Sheets are available to help appraise systematic reviews, RTCs, and studies addressing diagnostic/prognostic questions.

CEBM: Center for evidence based medicine