Evidence Based Medicine
Appraising the evidence
Once you have found articles, which potentially may serve as the evidence for answering your question, you must appraise it. Appraising the evidence can be the most time consuming part of evidence-based medicine. One alternative is to look for sources of pre-assessed evidence. Journal of Family Practice POEMs or the American College of Physicians Journal Club reviews selected articles and does the work of appraising for you.
The other alternative is to do it yourself. Starting in 1993, Users' Guides to the Medical Literature has been published as a series in JAMA. This guides are intended for use by physicians to help them evaluate the medical literature. While four of the guides have been condensed for your use below as review sheets, the series in it's entirety is available at the Centres for Health Evidence.
If you need to appraise the evidence, it is best to use a worksheet, which will help focus you on the pertinent questions that need to be answered. Blank worksheets for the four most common types of articles that physicians read are also given below.
The worksheets are in "PDF" format so you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. A free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for download at their website.
Review sheets on How to Appraise Articles
- How to appraise Therapy articles
- How to appraise Diagnostic articles
- How to appraise Systematic Reviews
- How to appraise Harm articles