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Your own words outline the role of critical appraisal in relation to published research articles, mentioning in your discussion strengths and weakness as well as the utility of critical appraisal as a research tool - Essay Example

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Critical appraisal is the process by which research evidence is systematically examined in order to assess its relevance, validity and results before it is used for any decision making (Hill and Spittlehouse, 2001). Critical appraisal is an essential step in the process by which…
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Your own words outline the role of critical appraisal in relation to published research articles, mentioning in your discussion strengths and weakness as well as the utility of critical appraisal as a research tool
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Critical Appraisal Critical appraisal is the process by which research evidence is systematically examined in order to assess its relevance, validity and results before it is used for any decision making (Hill and Spittlehouse, 2001). Critical appraisal is an essential step in the process by which research is put into practice. Investigating the research methodology of an article, scrutinizing the methods of data collection and analysis used and evaluating how the findings are the presented helps an individual to determine if the conclusions of that article should have any influence on the practical decision-making.
Critically evaluating the research evidence is crucial especially in facilitating a practice that is evidence based. This is making use of the best available evidence to guide program design and decision making. The best evidence is used to emphasize that the primary objective is the quality of the evidence and not its quantity. Critical appraisal gives one a chance to differentiate the finest evidence available from within a research’s large body.
The use of best-evidence approach by critical appraisal allows one to control the literature amount needed for analysis. It also enables one to retrieve information that is reliable and up to date about the interventions. These interventions may or not work for a given public health topic. In addition, it ensures that one feels certain that the decision making process in public health relies on the best available information of a given topic.
Critical appraisal process enables an individual to assess the usefulness of the study and whether the findings can be trusted. Despite the above mentioned advantages of critical appraisal, the process of assessing a research studies’ validity can be a complicated and time-demanding undertaking. The possibility of conflict of interest is also another step back in the process of critical appraisal (Benos, 2007).
Each discipline in public health and medicine requires a unique approach when it comes to evidence-based practice due to their fundamental differences. Evidence-based public health is the evaluation, implementation and development of policies and programs in public health that are effective through the use of scientific reasoning principles which includes systemic data use and information system, and the right use of the theory of behavioural science and models in program planning (Atkins, 2000). On the other hand, evidenced-based medicine is the systematic appraising, finding, and use of contemporary research findings as the clinical decisions basis. Critical appraisal can be used in instances; such include a literature review conduction for a grant proposal; evaluation of a health programs’ cost, benefits and effectiveness; the establishment of new health programs; policies implementation and decision making in public health.
In conclusion, critical appraisal is the process by which a particular research study’s strength and weaknesses can be systematically identified. The guidelines in critical appraisal in research validity assessment have become a recognized technique in various disciplines like medicine and healthcare, which promote the use of evidence-based practice (Benos, 2007). These guidelines have been used in areas such as cohort studies, surveys and case control (Crombie, 1996).
Assessing the study design carefully is the most vital critical appraisal component. However, steps such as statistical methods evaluation, findings interpretation and the possibility of conflict of interest are also essential. The guidelines checklist includes the way of thinking, the way of controlling; the way of working; the way of supporting; the way of communicating. Finally, in order for the interpretative methods to continue gaining reliability in IS research, it is imperative for the community to identify ways of evaluating the produced evidence of reliability. The first step towards achieving this goal is set by the availability of critical appraisal guidelines that are agreed on.
Bibliography
Atkins, C.F., 2000. Reclaiming knowledge: A case for evidence-based information systems. Proc.8th European Conference on Information Systems, Vienna, 3–5 July, pp. 39-45.
Ciliska, D., 2008. An Introduction to Evidence-Informed Public Health and a Compendium of Critical Appraisal Tools for Public Health Practice. National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools.
Crombie, I. K., 1996. The pocket guide to critical appraisal: a handbook for health care
professionals. London: BMJ Publishing Group.
Rychetnik, L., 2002. A schema for evaluating evidence on public health interventions.
Sydney: University of Sydney.
Olajid, A., 2002. Making sense of critical appraisal. NY: Holder. Read More
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