3. How to appraise

3.3. The three steps of appraisal

3.3 The three steps of appraisal

Once you have decided that a paper will potentially answer your clinical question, there are three steps used to evaluate whether it will provide useful evidence.

Step 1: Determine the level of evidence within the paper

Step 2: Appraise the quality of the study

Step 3: Your conclusion  Is the paper of sufficient quality?

With a little practice this shouldn’t take long and will ensure that the information you gain from reading and appraising scientific literature is of sufficient quality to Apply in your clinical practice.

TIP: Read through the sections below and then try working through the steps with a sample study and a blank criteria checklist (see Critical appraisal and appraisal toolkits later in this section). Challenge a colleague to do the same and compare your findings. 

And remember – practice makes perfect!