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Critical Appraisal for Health Students


"Critical Appraisal is the process of assessing and interpreting evidence, by systematically considering its validity, results and relevance to your own context." (CASP, 2020)

This guide is aimed at health students who are required to undertake critical appraisal of research. It provides basic level support for appraising qualitative and quantitative research papers. It's designed for students who have already attended lectures on critical appraisal.

Frameworks to appraise both types of research are provided along with an opportunity to practise appraisal skills using a research paper with suggested answers.


Qualitative Research:

Qualitative research uses individual in-depth interviews, focus groups or questionnaires to collect, analyse and interpret data on what people do and say. It reports on the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols and descriptions of things. It is often exploratory and open-ended.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research uses statistical methods to count and measure outcomes from a study. The outcomes are usually objective and predetermined. A large number of participants are usually involved to ensure that the results are statistically significant.