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University of Washington Health Sciences Library

Systematic Reviews and other evidence synthesis projects

Critical appraisal of results

After the full-text screening, you will have a much smaller pool of results. Before you start to extract and analyze your data, you will need to to critically appraise these results; also called critical assessment or quality assessment. Some results may be excluded as a result of appraisal. This step is an important part of why systematic reviews and meta-analysis are considered to be a high level of evidence.

According to the Institute of Medicine standards, appraisal for a systematic review requires the authors to:

  • 3.6.1 Systematically assess the risk of bias, using predefined criteria
  • 3.6.2 Assess the relevance of the study’s populations, interventions, and outcome measures
  • 3.6.3 Assess the fidelity of the implementation of interventions
About bias and appraisal in general:

Appraisal Checklists

Different types of studies have different appraisal criteria. There are appraisal support tools to assist you with many of them.
Collections of appraisal checklists for a variety of study types:
Appraisal checklists for specific study types:
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