Critical Appraisal

Guidelines for Paper


  1. Please use as a guide the appropriate Rapid Critical Appraisal Checklists found in Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt (2015) textbook on pages 539 to 550.
  2. The critiques are to be informal, although correct grammar, spelling, etc. still are expected.
  3. The critique should include a brief description of the study that was reviewed and should address elements of the study relevant to critique.
  4. Provide a written critique on a critical appraisal of the elements relevant to the nature of the research study (Type of study, design, quality of the study, rationale, etc.) as well as implications for practice and further research and/or evaluation.
  5. The minimum length for this assignment is four pages, APA formatted, double-spaced with 1-inch margins and Times Roman font of 12 pts and a maximum of five pages. This assignment should include title page and critique. There is no need for an abstract or reference list.


The following could also be used as a guide


Critical Appraisal Template

Prognosis Article


Clinical Question:


Reference: 1st 2 authors et al, title, journal, date (including date of month), volume, page range.



Design – RCT / controlled not randomized / cohort / case series / case report / prospective vs. retrospective

Setting – type of hospital / location

Patient Population – number / inclusion criteria / exclusion criteria,

screening/enrollment methods, number screened vs number enrolled

Description of prognostic factors considered

Analysis – statistical models

Outcomes – primary and secondary

Follow-up – duration / completeness, accounting of patients



Was the patient sample clearly defined, representative of clinical practice, and captured at a similar point in disease progression?

Was duration of follow-up sufficient?  Were all patients accounted for?

Were outcome criteria objective and unbiased relative to the prognostic factors?

Was their adjustment for linked prognostic factors?

Were patients in the study treated similarly?

Do the study population characteristics describe your patient?



How likely are the outcomes during a specified period of follow-up?

How precise are the likelihood estimates?

Hazard or Odds Ratios, Kaplan-Meier curves if available.



Strengths and Weaknesses of Study (internal and external validity)

Study in context of other available literature and/or current standard-of’care

Can the study results change management or counseling of the patient?

Next steps for further study of this problem

Pathophysiologic considerations

Last Updated on February 3, 2018

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