A brief introduction to the critical reading of the clinical literature

Paul G. Shekelle*, Gunnar Andersson, Claire Bombardier, Daniel Cherkin, Richard Deyo, Robert Keller, Casey Lee, Matthew Liang, Bailey Lipscomb, Kevin Spratt, James Neil Weinstein

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    47 Scopus citations


    Clinicians are bombarded by reports of new diagnostic tests or treatments for patients with spine problems. To provide the best possible patient care, clinicians need to be able to critically appraise the results of such studies for validity and relevance to patient care, important questions to be asked ofany descripllon of diagnostic or treatment studies are the following questions: 1) Are the patient described in detail so that you can decide whether they are comparable to those that you see in your practice? 2)Are the treatments or assessments described well enough so that you could provide the same for your patients? 3) Was a clinically relevant endpoint measured? 4) Is an appropriate comparison group? 5)Are potential sources of bias appropriately attended to? 6) Arc the- results clinically significant?.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2028-2031
    Number of pages4
    Issue number18
    StatePublished - Sep 1994


    • Clinical epidemiology
    • Literature appraisal shills

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
    • Clinical Neurology


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