How to critically appraise the clinical literature

Paul Cronin, James V. Rawson, Marta E. Heilbrun, Janie M. Lee, Aine M. Kelly, Pina C. Sanelli, Brian W. Bresnahan, Angelisa M. Paladin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Recent efforts have been made to standardize the critical appraisal of clinical health care research. In this article, critical appraisal of diagnostic test accuracy studies, screening studies, therapeutic studies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, cost-effectiveness studies, recommendations and/or guidelines, and medical education studies is discussed as are the available instruments to appraise the literature. By having standard appraisal instruments, these studies can be appraised more easily for completeness, bias, and applicability for implementation. Appraisal requires a different set of instruments, each designed for the individual type of research. We also hope that this article can be used in academic programs to educate the faculty and trainees of the available resources to improve critical appraisal of health research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1128
Number of pages12
JournalAcademic Radiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Appraisal
  • Cost-effectiveness assessments
  • Diagnostic test accuracy
  • Guidelines
  • Medical education
  • Recommendations
  • Screening
  • Systematic review and meta-analysis
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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