Critical appraisal is an integral process in evidence based practice that seeks to identify the strengths and limitations of the studies found.
Criteria for appraisal of studies:
The RAMMbo mnemonic may be helpful for critical appraisal of a study:
Recruitment - were all patients selected representative of the target population; have inclusion/exclusion criteria been taken into account
Allocation - was there randomisation
Maintenance - were all patients treated equally except for the intervention and was the allocation concealed
There are a number of tools available to assist you with appraising the quality of the article(s) you have found.
CASP helps people to find and interpret the best available evidence from health research.
The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford (UK) provides tools and downloads for the critical appraisal of medical evidence. Sample appraisal sheets are provided together with several helpful examples.
Provides access to critical appraisal tools for different types of studies including systematic reviews and RCTs.