Critical appraisal of published research

The objective of critically appraising a paper is to determine if the methods and results of the research have significant validity to produce useful information. The appraisal starts with a careful review of the abstract, which ideally should be presented in a structured format. The critical questions are as follows:

1. What were the objectives of the study?

2. Were the ethical aspects properly followed?

3. What was the study design?

4. Were there any potential problems associated with the design?

5. Were all the patients who entered the study properly accounted for at its conclusion?

6. What were the important results?

7. How would you interpret and explain these results?

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