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Critical Appraisal and Use of Evidence

Course Number
4000 (Doctor of Public Health)
Course Instructor(s)
Ashley Mariko Aimone

Course Description

Critical appraisal is an important responsibility of all public health leaders and health care professionals undertaking research or evidence-informed practice. This course will focus on learning how to assess evidence. This course will also help students develop the ability to critically and effectively synthesize findings to generate evidence-informed practice that advances programs, policies, services and/or systems. The course will help students distinguish the different types of evidence and how they can be summarized. The methods, reporting, and critical appraisal of different types of knowledge synthesis that are often used in public health decision-making will be explored (e.g., scoping reviews, rapid reviews, overviews, network meta-analysis). Through developing a knowledge synthesis question, students will explore a broad range of disciplines and health related data sources, learn how to formulate critical questions, and will gain practice with developing a knowledge synthesis protocol.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Distinguish different types of evidence;
  2. Critically appraise different types of evidence;
  3. Formulate critical questions;
  4. Effectively synthesize findings to generate evidence-informed practice;
  5. Gain experience with developing a knowledge synthesis protocol.

Methods of Assessment

Assignment #1: Systematic Review Question 20%
Assignment #2: Systematic Review Protocol 50%
Quizzes (1 for each module; 13 in total) 20%
Participation 10%

General Requirements

Basic statistics course, methods course.