Critical appraisal (including CASP)

  • Students in Health and social care (in particular) are required to carry out a structured 'critical appraisal' of research published in articles throughout their programme of study, and, crucially, in the independent research for a dissertation.

    • Start here: Critical appraisal
      (University of Manchester Library, UK) This is intelligent and user-friendly. You click through the guide step-by-step with clear explanations on the way. A must for medical and health sciences students.
    • Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP)
      This offers 8 versions of CASP or 'tools' tailored different types of study – check with your tutor if you are uncertain about which to use. All versions of CASP group the detailed questions into 3 overarching areas:
      • A. Are the results of the trial valid?
      • B. What are the results?
      • C. Will the results help locally?

      These can make useful headings for structuring your work.

    • Be more critical!
      Oxford Brookes, UK
      On page five of this guide you'll find six critical questions: What? Who? Why? How? When? Where? These can an be used as a framework for critical appraisal as well as forming the basis for critical thinking about anything.