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EPM5022 - Critical appraisal skills

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr J Black


Alfred Hospital Second semester 2007 (Day)


Practical experience in critically appraising both published research findings and proposals for new research. All the principle types of public health and clinical studies, including vaccine trials, are considered through guided reading and class discussion of both contemporary and landmark studies.


On completion of this unit students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. an understanding of what critical appraisal of published research is and why it is necessary;
  2. an understanding of the different levels and strengths of evidence;
  3. proficiency in finding information and evidence, including electronic and internet searching and bibliographic tools;
  4. Knowledge of the common types of study, and the features that determine the usefulness of a particular study of each type. These include randomised controlled trials, qualitative research, economic studies, case-control studies, cohort studies and vaccine trials;
  5. proficiency in appraising published or proposed studies of therapeutic interventions, of diagnostic techniques, of the aetiology and natural history of disease, of disease prevention and of prognosis; and
  6. an ability to communicate their assessment of a study both verbally and in writing.


Written assignments 80%
Class presentation 20%

Contact hours

2 contact hours per week