Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Systematic Reviews : Tools

A brief guide on how to conduct a systematic review.

Critical Appraisal tool

Critical appraisal worksheets to help you appraise the reliability, importance and applicability of clinical evidence.

Critical appraisal is the systematic evaluation of clinical research papers in order to establish:

  1. Does this study address a clearly focused question?
  2. Did the study use valid methods to address this question?
  3. Are the valid results of this study important?
  4. Are these valid, important results applicable to my patient or population?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, you can save yourself the trouble of reading the rest of it.

This section contains useful tools and downloads for the critical appraisal of different types of medical evidence. Example appraisal sheets are provided together with several helpful examples.

Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine

Critical Appraisal Toolkits

The toolbox

Another great, FREE tool, is the Systematic Review Toobox. This tool can act as another search step

PRISMA Flow Diagram

The flow diagram depicts the flow of information through the different phases of a systematic review. It maps out the number of records identified, included and excluded, and the reasons for exclusions. Different templates are available depending on the type of review (new or updated) and sources used to identify studies.

PRISMA Flow Diagram