How to critically appraise clinical papers

By December 12, 2014 Uncategorized

As a medical writer I spend much of my time wading through swathes of clinical papers to identify the landmark studies while filtering out the chuff. It’s a tricky business, which requires a sound understanding of the study process. Over time, I’ve come across a few resources that I’ve found really useful and wish to share with other aspiring medical writers. I’ll add to this list as and when I find new resources:

Critically Appraising Medical Evidence: Checklists from The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme

The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) is a non-profit UK organisation based in Oxford, which provides resources and education aiming to improve the critical appraisal of medical evidence. CASP freely provides critical appraisal checklists to apply to medical research under a Creative Commons license on their website as downloadable PDFs. This blog post provides web-versions of the critical appraisal checklists for four primary research types (randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews, cohort studies and case control studies), reformatted to make them more useful on laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Statistical Help from Statsdirect

This website discusses basic statistical principles and provides top-level explanations of a variety of statistical analysis methods.

Medical statistics made easy

This is a great little pocket book which runs through the basics of key statistics principles for anyone studying or working in medicine and healthcare who needs a basic overview of the subject. It’s a handy reference tool to keep within arm’s reach.