Training Critical Appraisal of a Topic isbn 9789077201534Book (220 pages)

ISBN: 978-90-77201-53-4

Editors: C.P.M. de Brouwer, M.A.H. Mommers, C.J.A.W. van Gool, IJ. Kant, I. Ferreira

Training in Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is part of each medical and healthcare educational program. Learning skills which are essential for thinking and working in an evidence based manner are the core subject of this manual. This manual is based on the method of Critical Appraisal of a Topic (CAT) and a decade of experience in teaching CAT to third year Bachelor students of Medicine at the Maastricht University. Furthermore, this training format has also been introduced to Master education programs and to the training of medical specialists.

Starting point of a CAT is a patient contact from which a specific clinical question derived, reflecting the uncertainties with regard to the medical decision making process. From this point one works towards an answer to that question, substantiated with the best available evidence at this moment.

The methodological domains of diagnosis, prognosis and therapy are covered in this manual and many practical examples are given. Also, this manual includes many assignments to exercise basic clinical epidemiological concepts and critical appraisal skills, through which all the necessary information for compiling a CAT can be gathered. The answers to these assignments are provided at the very end of each chapter.

The manual is suitable for those who want to qualify in:

  • writing a clinical scenario;
  • formulating clinical questions;
  • searching systematically for scientific literature using a structured step-by-step plan;
  • appraising the methodological quality of a scientific article;
  • appraising the evidence and weighing the quality of the evidence for medical decision making;
  • formulating an answer to a clinical question based on an EBM approach.

A CAT comprises a compilation of necessary EBM-skills and, therefore, this manual is indispensable for medical and healthcare practitioners in the EBM era.