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A Guide to Critical Appraisal of Health Research

Appraising Papers About Prognostic Studies: Some General Questions

Here are some factors to consider when you are evaluating a paper that reports on prognostic study:

  • Was the sample of the patients representative of the illness or condition?
  • Were the patients classified in homogeneous groups?
  • Was the follow-up long enough to measure a clinical outcome?
  • Was the follow-up complete?
  • Were outcome measures "blind?"
  • What are the risks of the outcome over time?
  • How precise are the estimates?

Heneghan, C., & Badenoch, Douglas. (2006). Evidence-based medicine toolkit (2nd ed.). Malden, Mass. ; Oxford: BMJ Books/Blackwell Pub.

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Kate Silfen
Mugar Memorial Library