Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines: Critical Appraisal Tool Kit

This tool kit was developed for the Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control (CCDIC) to support and promote consistency and rigorous critical appraisal of scientific evidence for the development of Agency infection prevention and control guidelines.

The process of critical appraisal begins with appraising the quality of evidence from individual studies, summarizing the evidence from all relevant studies, and appraising and grading the body of evidence.

Three Critical Appraisal Tools are provided which identify study aspects to be assessed, with specific criteria for assessment; decisions are recorded on the tools. Each tool is accompanied by a dictionary which provides explanations to help understand and interpret the criteria. The tool kit also provides supporting tools to assist with the critical appraisal of individual studies, and guidance for summarizing and appraising the body of evidence. The content of the Critical Appraisal Tool Kit is shown in this table.

Appraisal Steps Tools
Appraisal of individual studies Three Critical Appraisal Tools (CATs)
  • Analytic Study Critical Appraisal Tool
  • Descriptive Study Critical Appraisal Tool
  • Literature Review Critical Appraisal Tool
Supporting tools
  • Algorithms for Naming Study Designs
  • Study Designs Table
  • Common Statistical Tests Table
  • Glossary
Summarizing evidence Evidence Summary Tables (template and sample)
Guidance for developing recommendations
Appraisal of body of evidence Grading system

The tool kit is useful for:

  • Appraising individual studies of different designs
  • Appraising a body of evidence, with or without using the grading system
  • Appraising evidence when there is paucity of strong intervention studies such as randomized and non-randomized controlled trials
  • Teaching critical appraisal or knowledge translation and exchange around critical appraisal

The tool kit can be accessed at:
Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines: Critical Appraisal Tool Kit  

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