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Rehabilitation Research Boot Camp: Critical Appraisal

presented by Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA, FAAOMPT

Accrediting Body:

Target Audience:

Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Chad Cook receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. He also is a research consultant for Hawkins Foundation of the Carolinas. Chad Cook receives royalties from Pearson education, Maitland Australian Physiotherapy Association, AgenceEBP, and is a paid associate editor for JOSPT.

Non-Financial: Chad Cook is a senior associate editor for BJSM and is an editorial board member for J Physiotherapy and JMMT.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:

What's the most effective current method to assure that research findings are valid, appropriate, and are a useful contribution to the literature? At present, our best method is critical appraisal performed through a peer review system. This course discusses the critical appraisal process from a journal's point of view to the point of view and responsibility of the reviewer. Further, the course discusses legitimate sources of information and illegitimate sources, called predatory journals.

Meet Your Instructor


Dr. Cook is a professor at Duke University with a Category A appointment in the Duke Clinical Research Institute and an adjunct appointment in the Department of Population Health Sciences. He is a clinical researcher, physical therapist, and profession advocate with a long history of clinical care excellence and service and academic experience. His passions…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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Download the learning objectives for Rehabilitation Research Boot Camp: Critical Appraisal.

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1. Why Critical Appraisal

Chapter one introduces the learner to the reasons critical appraisal is so necessary. Within the learning context, studies and research are discussed that through careful critical appraisal, the clinical transferability of the findings have been limited.

2. Journal Hierarchy

Chapter two discusses the different levels of journal hierarchy and the mechanisms—such as impact factor, eigenvalue, H index and altmetrics—that are used to evaluate these. Critical appraisal is evaluated from the journal’s point of view.

3. The Peer Review System

Chapter three discusses the normal flow of the peer review process. Oversight groups, responsibility for quality peer review training and suggestions are also discussed.

4. Predatory Publishing

Chapter four introduces the predatory publisher. A predatory publisher is a journal publishing company that erodes the sanctity of the peer review system in order to make revenue. The work published in these journals is questionable. The module discusses the growing number of these and how to identify each.

5. How to Critique a Paper

Chapter five is designed to introduce the learner to critiquing guidelines and mechanisms of training. The learner is introduced to agencies responsible for creating reporting guidelines and the ethics behind peer reviewing.

6. Tools for Appraisal, Risk of Bias

Chapter six discusses what to look for in a risk of bias tool and how to use reporting guidelines in the review process. Further, risk of bias and quality are compared and contrasted.

7. Journal Clubs

Chapter seven is titled Journal Clubs and is designed to describe the best methods for performing these. Ideas such as scoring each article on a utility scale are discussed, as are best mechanisms for location, topics, and time.

8. Summary

The summary chapter discusses the salient points of the course and provides recommended readings to the learners to enhance the materials within the modules.

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