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Master of Science in Oral Health Sciences

This guide is aimed at anyone in the Masters of Science in Oral Health Sciences program for help with their research.

Tools for Critical Appraisal

"Critical appraisal skills enable you to assess the trustworthiness, relevance and results of published papers so that you can decide if they are believable and useful."  



Learn more about Critical Appraisal

Critical Appraisal Checklists by specific Study Design type

Randomized Controlled Trials

ROB 2.0 Risk Of Bias Tool

There are 3 variations of the tool based on trial design.  Choose the appropriate version.

1.  Individually randomized, parallel group trials (traditional RCT)

2.  Cluster randomized, parallel group trials (like traditional but randomized by groups)

3.  Individual randomized, cross-over trials (randomization occurs to determine the order the patient receives both treatments)​

CASP: Randomised Controlled Trial Appraisal Tool
Summary: Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP): RCT CAT is a methodological checklist which provides key criteria relevant to randomised controlled trials.
Authors: Public Health Resource Unit, NHS, England

Non-randomized Studies or Observational Studies:

ROBINS-I Risk of Bias for non-randomized (observational) studies or cohorts of Interventions​

ROBINS-E Risk of Bias for non-randomized (observational) studies or cohorts of Exposures other than interventions, including environmental and occupational exposures​

Newcastle-Ottawa scale (NOS) -most widely used for case control or cohort studies

IHE Case Series Studies Critical Appraisal Checklist

JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist for Case Series

JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist for Case Reports

The Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies (MINOR) is a tool for assessing non-randomized interventional studies

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) methodological checklist for cross-sectional/prevalence studies

AXIS-To assess the quality of cross-sectional/prevalence studies

The TREND Statement
Summary: The TREND (Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Nonrandomized Designs) statement is a 22-item checklist specifically developed to guide standardized reporting of nonrandomized controlled trials.

The STROBE Statement

Strengthening the reporting of observational studies (cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional)

McMaster Critical Review Forms and Guidelines - Quantitative and Qualitative Studies

Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT)-used for qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed methods studies. Helpful for those working on a Mixed Methods Review

Public Health:

MetaQat - Meta-Tool for appraising all types of public health evidence


CanChild for qualitative reviews Guidelines and Form

Quantitative Research (Public Health Research)

EPHPP- Quality Assessment tool for Quantitative Studies

Animal Research:

Systematic Review Centre for Laboratory Animal Experimentation (SYRCLE) risk of bias assessment tool for assessing animal studies



(invivo studies) Review the ARRIVE guidelines

Critical Appraisal of Studies using Animal Models

Diagnostic Accuracy


To evaluate the risk of bias and applicability of primary diagnostic accuracy studies.

CASP: Diagnostic Test Studies

Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) Diagnosis Critical Appraisal Worksheet


Grey Literature

Critical Appraisal of Clinical Practice Guidelines


International tool for the assessment of practice guidelines

Critical Appraisal of Systematic Reviews

ROBIS- A tool for assessing the risk of bias in systematic reviews.

AMSTAR 2-A Measurement Tool to Assess (quality assessment) of Systematic Reviews

Health-Evidence Appraisal Tool for Reviews

AHRQ-Assessing the Risk of Bias in Systematic Reviews of Healthcare Interventions