Critical Appraisal Day 1 by Katie Nicholas

Critical Appraisal Day 1 – Liverpool, Holiday Inn -7 hours

This was the first of three sessions on Critical Appraisal. The aims of the first day were:

  • To understand what we mean by ‘critical appraisal’ – concepts and definitions
  • To identify different types of study designs and when it is appropriate to use them
  • Levels of evidence
  • Critical appraisal of qualitative research

I had done some critical appraisal training in the LIHNN MOOC before the session but my previous role never really included much of this so I had forget rather quickly the principles. I wanted to brush up on my own understanding of research methodologies and get ideas for ways in which we could deliver some form of training in our organisation. The day did both of those things – I left with a much clearer understanding of the different types of research methods and their strengths, weaknesses and place within the ‘evidence hierarchy’. It also gave me so great ideas for ways we could introduce training here – using the CASP tool to go through a paper was useful and I particularly liked the ‘Quality Street game’ to help us understand thematic analysis. The Abstracts activity also helped me apply the theory in practice and was a quick activity that could be easily replicated with papers relevant to our staff.  I’m looking forward to the second and third sessions looking in more detail at RCTs and statistics. The training was also timely and will definitely help with my dissertation.

Katie Nicholas
Knowledge Officer, Health Education England

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