Critical evaluation: Introduction

Last updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2015

You can download a PDF of the text of this tutorial (it doesn't include the Learning Exercises).

What do you think we mean by the term critical evaluation? One definition is that it is a process that allows us to judge whether the data in a clinical trial paper are valid and useful.

  • We assess validity by considering how robust the data are: is the clinical trial scientifically sound?
  • We can evaluate usefulness by thinking about what the results mean for our patients in the real world.

Most of this tutorial is devoted to examining validity and usefulness in more detail.