Basics: CASP checklists

The basics of evidence based medicine are to ask a question, acquire a paper that might answer it, appraise the study, apply it’s results and assess performance.

The appraisal bit can be done a few different ways – but underneath nearly all of them sits a similarity of key concepts – it’s just the gloss that varies.

But how something looks is VERY important (says my 12 year old). So you might like the look of the pictorial GATE approach, or the simplicity and rapidity of the tiny acronyms like RAMbo, FAST and AVID. Or a more leisurely series of questions, as promoted and freely available from the CASP team may be what you want to use to bring your appraisals into the light.

These are study-type-specific, annotated checklists of about 10 questions that step you through the key elements of evaluating bias in clinical research studies. There are a wealth of online tools and courses about the checklists, and loads of people like them.

As our recent guest blogger might say, “Have a play!”

– Archi

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