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M Makela, K Witt
Correspondence: Prof M Makela, email@example.com
Finding and using research results to support your professional decisions must be a systematic process, based on the principles of evidence-based medicine and healthcare. This article takes you through a critical appraisal exercise using a recent article from the British Medical Journal as an example. It describes how you decide whether to read and use an article that may be relevant to your decision. The reading is guided by a series of questions. First you evaluate the validity of the article: is the study conducted and reported so that you may trust the results? The second set of questions discusses the outcomes, the effect of the intervention and describes the use of confidence intervals for this. The possibility of using the research results in the reader's setting and patient population is then evaluated.
Keywords: critical appraisal, evidence-based medicine, healthcare problem, study validity
Singapore Med J 2005; 46(3): 108-115