Critical Appraisal of Scientific Articles

By Jean-Baptist du Prel, Bernd Röhrig, Maria Blettner


Summary:  ​

Purpose:  To present the essential principles of the evaluation of scientific publications. 

Most highlighted Results:  

  • Methods contain essential data for appraisal of the study’s validity. It should cover all stages of planning, details about study sample, the inclusion and exclusion criteria and the statistical methods used. ​
  • An approval of an appropriate ethics committee should be stated.​
  • Study design: the most important element of a scientific study should be explained in clear terms.
  • ​ The quality of clinical\ experimental study is increased by determining accuracy of methods used, the inclusion of a     control group, randomization and blinding.​
  • The findings should be presented objectively without interpretation and it should address directly the aims of the study.​
  • The findings should first be formulated descriptively. A second, analytic subsection describes the relationship between characteristics, or estimates the effect of a risk factor. 
  • ​ Besides information on statistical significance in the form of p values ,comprehensive description of the data on confidence intervals are strongly recommended .​
  • Improve the clarity by using a self explanatory Tables and figures .​
  • Discussion should includes a comparison of finding with status quo and critical analysis of the study’s limitation.​
  • The type of error can vary in accordance to study design.​
Table 2