Critical evaluation: Information sources

Last updated: Monday, October 03, 2022

The UK Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) offers a series of practical checklists to help you systematically evaluate clinical evidence including RCTs. There are some short e-learning courses on the CASP website too.

The NICE Medicines and Prescribing community provides support for delivering quality, safety and efficiency in the optimisation of medicines.
Visit their website for evidence-based summaries about new medicines or unlicensed medicines. You might like to compare the evidence-based reviews of medicines (technology appraisals) and clinical guidelines on the NICE website, with those available in Scotland and Wales. Try the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) and the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) for information on the effectiveness of new and existing medicines.

The Cochrane Library also has a collection of evidence-based reviews that are regularly updated, including The Cochrane Databases of Systematic Reviews.

The TRIP database is a gateway to many evidence-based resources including those from professional bodies e.g. Royal Colleges.

Be careful about conducting a general internet search when looking for critically evaluated evidence. If you do, you may like to look at our brief guide to evaluating websites about medicines.