Critical appraisal of other research designs

The approach taken to the appraisal of research designs applied to other clinical questions is similar to that outlined above. Rather than passively reading the article or abstract, the clinician actively searches out the most important methodological features to determine the reliability of the study. By applying the methods developed by clinical epidemiologists, the results presented in the paper can be used to calculate more clinically meaningful measures. These can, in turn, be tailored to suit the characteristics of the individual patient. The clinician needs to develop a practical knowledge of the tools to allow him to use them routinely and quickly in clinical practice and also to develop sufficient familiarity to be able describe the results of studies to colleagues and patients.

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