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CASP (Critical Appraisal Skills Programme) checklists are a series of checklists involving prompt questions to help you evaluate research studies. They are often used in Healthcare and cover the following types of research methods: Systematic Reviews, Randomised Controlled Trials, Cohort Studies, Case Control Studies, Economic Evaluations, Diagnostic Studies, Qualitative studies, and Clinical Prediction Rule.
The CASP checklists are usually structured around the three main sections asking:
Are the results of the study valid?
What are the results?
Will the results help locally? (in my setting).
Use the appropriate checklist to help structure your evaluation of a research study to ensure you have considered all aspects of the study. The checklists can be found here:
Think of the questions on the checklist as ways to help stimulate your own thinking, not as a tick-box exercise just to be completed. You don’t have to use every question if it isn’t relevant and there is little value in filling out a section in a superficial way. A completed checklist is helpful but it doesn’t guarantee a good evaluation without your own thinking.