Critical Assessment– 3rd Step in the EBDM Process, Appraising the literature
To understand the evidence, 3 critical analysis questions should be asked:
- Are the results of the study valid, e.g., were correct methods used?.
- What are the results?
- Will the results help in caring for my patients?
Guidelines/tools consisting of a structured series of questions help review the validity of a study.
- Validity: the degree to which a study appropriately answers the question being asked or an instrument measures what it is supposed to measure and performs the functions that it purports to perform.
- Reliability: refers to the consistency of a measuring instrument, e.g., a test instrument yields consistent results over repeated tests of the same subject under ideal conditions. However, just because an instrument is reliable does not mean it is valid.