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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Evidence-Based Medicine: Appraising Evidence

A guide to tools and resources on the topic of Evidence-Based Medicine

Appraising Evidence

When appraising evidence at any level--but particularly those on the lower half of the 4s Pyramid--you must ask questions to determine the usefulness of the evidence, particularly in terms of validity and importance.

Is the Study Valid?

  • Is there a clear, defined research question?
  • Was the study "blinded"?
  • Was the test evaluated? 
  • Are the methods clear?
  • Is the study reproducible? 
  • What were the outcome measures? 
  • Are studies consistent in systematic review?

Are the Results Important?

  • Is the evidence relevant to your question?
  • Is the methods section clear?
  • In a systematic review, are individual studies considered for validity?
  • Are studies consistent?
  • How precise are results? 
  • Are results statistically significant?