Critical Appraisal Skills Programme

How to use the CASP checklists

Why are Checklists important for Critical Appraisal?

Checklists are important and some of the reasons we believe they are important are:

  • They help the user to undertake a complex task involving many steps
  • They support the user in being systematic by ensuring that all important factors or considerations are taken into account
  • They increase consistency in decision-making by providing a framework

If checklists are used, they also comprise a record of decision-making which is transparent and can be tracked for the purposes of governance and accountability or auditing.

How to use a CASP checklist

The questions in the checklist’s are designed to help you think about several aspects in a structured way.

Most of our checklists currently have three sections, which are:

  • Are the results of the study valid? (Section A)
  • What are the results? (Section B)
  • Will the results help locally? (Section C)

However, as we update our check list we are adding in a new section:

  • Is the study methodologically sound?

Within each of the checklist’s section there are question we ask you to record ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Can’t tell’ in response to those questions. There are prompts below the questions that highlight the issues and it is important to consider. We ask that you record the reasons for your answers in the space provided.

Need more information?

If you have a general query about the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme, or would like to book on to a workshop please get in touch.
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