“Critical Appraisal Skills are unquestionably a valuable part of the skill set of dental postgraduate trainees and dentists in practice. It is not a skill set that is easy to acquire and can often be an area that is poorly developed. Equally, many trainees will develop poor habits in this area and will struggle to translate what is in the literature into the clinic.
This challenge is one that we have attempted to address in Health Education England West Midlands (HEEWM) local team as part of the Dental Core Training (DCT) Programme. Each year a day of “critical appraisal and using evidence” training has been part of the regional study programme which is delivered for all 62 young postgraduates to assist their development.
Over the past three years, HEEWM’s partner in delivery of these critical appraisal literature review skills has been CASP. Prior to this time other options had been used from within the academic faculty available locally and had received mixed feedback from trainees.
Feedback from these sessions has been universally positive and the day has now become a fixed item in the regional study programme. Although initially commissioned for DCT, over the years there have been a number of more senior trainees from dental specialties that have also accessed the day and have found it beneficial in terms of their preparation for specialty examinations.
From the perspective of the commissioner, these days have added value to the study programme and have been delivered to a very high standard and have been good value.
I would recommend their inclusion in the dental postgraduate programmes of other HEE regional teams.”