Skip to Main Content
Accessibility Information

NUR 550 - Evidence-Based Practice and Scholarly Inquiry

This Library Research Guide is intended to help you identify and locate scholarly and non-scholarly resources (books, articles, etc.) on the subject of evidence-based practice, scholarly research, appraising evidence, APA citation.

Critically appraise scientific literature

Initial steps

  • Does the article attempt to answer the same question as your clinical question and is the study relevant to your line of inquiry?
  • What type of research question is being asked? A well-developed research question usually identifies three components: the group or population of patients, the studied parameter (e.g. a therapy or clinical intervention) and outcomes of interest.
  • Is the article recent? Has it been published within the last 5 years or would it be considered a seminal article (an article considered to be part of the foundation of this research)
  • Is the journal peer-reviewed (Tip, check the Ulrich’s database to determine if the journal is scholarly, and refereed/peer-reviewed)
  • Do the authors present a hypothesis?

Evaluate the methodology (see also, “Levels of Evidence”)

  • What is the study design and is it valid for your question?
  • Who are the study participants and is there an attempt to limit bias?
  • Do the research methods limit the influence of confounding variables?
  • Are the outcome measures valid for the health condition?

Evaluate the results

  • Is there a table that describes the subjects’ demographics?
  • Are the subjects generalizable to your patient?
  • Are the statistical tests appropriate for the study design and clinical question?
  • Are the results presented in the paper?
  • Are the results statistically significant and how large is the difference between the groups?

Evaluate the conclusion

  • Do authors discuss non-significant data in an attempt to portray significance?
  • Do the authors acknowledge limitations?
  • Are there any conflicts of interest noted?

Adapted from Cochrane Critical Appraisal: A Checklist

Sample Evaluation Table

Creating an evaluation table to help to organize your literature by theme, sample design, measurement, and other categories. You will find a sample Evaluation Chart below and you can make your own with you template of your own design.

Consider the following;

  • Author (Year)
  • Conceptual Framework
  • Design/Method
  • Sample/Setting
  • Major Variables Studied
  • Measurement
  • Data Analysis
  • Findings
  • Appraisal/Notes