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Systematic Reviews and other Knowledge Synthesis: Appraise studies

This guide covers the basics of conducting a systematic review and other types of knowledge synthesis

Appraise studies

You will need to perform quality assessment on the articles you are including in your study and create a summary of the quality of the literature included in your review.

Using a predetermined assessment tool (usually an Excel doc), evaluate the:

  1. Methodological quality of your particular study type
    • If you include multiple study types, you will need multiple assessment tools
  2. Risk of bias in individual studies

Quality assessment tools

Assessing Bias in Individual Studies

Evaluating systematic reviews

Evaluating individual studies

CASP - RCT, Diagnostic, Qualitative, Case Control, Cohort Checklists

Checklists for multiple study types - Joanna Briggs Institute

RoB 2.0 - Randomized Controlled Trials

ROBINS-I - Non-randomized (observational) studies or cohorts of Interventions


Understanding heterogeneity (YouTube)
Interpreting a forest plot (YouTube)
Forest Plot Generator - Evidence Partners (free)
MetaLight - by EPPI Centre, free resource intended to support the teaching and learning of metanalysis
Mix 2.0 - a plug-in for Excel, free and paid versions