Master critical appraisal with Cochrane Evidence Essentials module 6

At computer

New online learning is now freely available about critical appraisal of rapid reviews as part of Cochrane’s flagship Evidence Essentials modules for the public.

Written from the perspective of a healthcare consumer this new module is for anyone interested in the critical appraisal of rapid systematic reviews or any review.

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Outline when and why a rapid review may be conducted
  • Describe the differences between rapid and systematic reviews
  • Understand and apply key concepts for assessing the quality of a rapid review by using the CASP tool

The learning is interactive, with quizzes, animations, and ways to check your knowledge.

Evidence Essentials

This module is the latest in Cochrane’s “Evidence Essentials” that gives an introduction to Evidence Based Medicine, clinical trials, systematic reviews and how to use evidence when making decisions about your health. The modules have been visited over 97,000 times since their launch, and the first 4 modules have now been translated into Spanish, German, and Russian.


The module’s content creation has been led by Emily Clark, National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools at the McMaster University, School of Nursing. Emily welcomed the launch of the new module:

“I’m so excited to see the launch of the module. It builds on the work that we have been doing at McMaster to spread understanding of critical appraisal of rapid reviews amongst the wider public. We’ve used a rapid review about risk factors associated with severe COVID-19 outcomes in children 5 years and under as the basis for this learning, and we show people how to use the CASP framework to appraise a review. This new Evidence Essential model should give non-scientists a way to check the quality of a review.”

In a world where information and misinformation are abundant, the ability to judge the evidence is vital for the public

Richard Morley, Cochrane’s Consumer Engagement Officer, said:

“The Evidence Essentials puts into one exciting place information that consumers (patients, carers and the public) can use to understand about health research, and in the case of this latest module, assess the quality of a review before using it to make decisions about healthcare choices. In a world where information and misinformation are abundant, the ability to judge the evidence is vital for the public.”

There are now six interactive modules in Evidence Essentials: an introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine, Randomized Controlled Trials, Introduction to systematic reviews, Understanding and using systematic reviews; Consumer involvement in Cochrane and the latest, Critical appraisal of rapid reviews.

Modules are free to use, with a Cochrane account and are found at

Monday, April 29, 2024