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Critical Appraisal Checklists

SURE Critical Appraisal Checklists

Over the years SURE team members have worked with a large number of different critical appraisal tools and checklists in our systematic review work and in our teaching. There are pluses and minuses with all of them. These new SURE checklists owe a debt to all those already developed, particularly the Health Evidence Bulletins Wales (HEBW) checklists, the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklists and NICE manuals (for clinical and public health guidance development).

Many papers have been published over the last ten to fifteen years that indicate the multiplicity of ways in which error and bias can distort the results of papers. We have attempted to capture this work in the SURE checklists, using detailed sub-questions to tease out issues. Over the next few months, we will be adding explanatory notes related to each question.

The checklists are a work in progress and if you use them, we would welcome your feedback ( on how useful (or otherwise) you found them, along with any suggestions for improvement. We are currently working on a range of checklists for different types of observational studies. 

Systematic reviews (PDF)

RCT and other experimental studies (PDF)

Qualitative studies (PDF)


Published Critical Appraisal Checklists

1. Systematic (literature) reviews of primary research studies

2. Intervention (experimental) studies

3. Observational studies

4. Qualitative (views and opinions) studies

5. Diagnostic accuracy studies

6. Economic evaluation studies

7. Not sure of study type?