On Tuesday 24th September the Oxford NCOR research hub met for the second time.
The meeting focused on the importance of critical appraisal. We began by reading a research article and discussing our initial thoughts about the content and quality of the article. We then used the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist for systematic reviews (available at: http://www.casp-uk.net ) to examine the paper in more detail and appraise it in a systematic manner. This exercise gave us an opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the research and to gain confidence in interpreting its conclusions.
We will go through a similar exercise at our next meeting, looking at a different piece of research. Improving our critical appraisal skills can help us to interpret research findings and apply them to clinical practice as well as explain research findings in context when patients have queries about information they obtain through the media.
If you are interested in joining us at our next meeting, please get in contact with NCOR via their website: www.ncor.org.uk