Evidence-Informed Public Health

EIPH Wheel - Appraise

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Appraise: Critically and efficiently appraise the research sources

Critical appraisal is the process of assessing the quality of study methods in order to determine if findings are trustworthy, meaningful and relevant to your situation. Critical appraisal helps you answer the question:

“Were the methods used in this study good enough that I can be confident in the findings?”

Public health decision makers may consider quantitative and qualitative research findings from a variety of disciplines. Different types of public health questions will require distinct research designs. Critical appraisal tools can be applied to assess quality and relevance of each type of research question.

See NCCMT’s Compendium of Critical Appraisal Tools for Public Health Practice (2008) for an overview of critical appraisal tools that can be used to help incorporate the best research evidence into public health practice and policy.

For more information about critically and efficiently appraising research sources, see our suite of Critical Appraisal modules in the Learning Centre (Critical Appraisal of Intervention Studies, Critical Appraisal of Systematic Reviews, and Critical Appraisal of Qualitative Research).

We recommend these resources from the Registry of Methods and Tools to help with this step: