Summary of main points
- The Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool (CCAT) consists of
- Always use the CCAT Form and the CCAT User Guide together.
- Research designs should be appraised on their own merits, not to a ‘gold standard’.
- All categories must be scored: it does not matter which research design was used
- The lowest score for a category is 0, the highest score is 5
- Category scores are whole numbers only (that is 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5)
- The score for each category must be reported
- The total score (out of 40 or as a percent) is reported in addition to each category score.
- Item descriptors may be marked present (✔), absent (✘), or not applicable (◼).
- Tick marks are not a check list to be totalled.
- Tick marks are simply a guide to scoring a category.
- If in doubt use your best judgement, there is no right or wrong answer.
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Crowe, M., Sheppard, L., & Campbell, A. (2011). Comparison of the effects of using the Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool versus informal appraisal in assessing health research: a randomised trial. International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare, 9(4), 444–449. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-1609.2011.00237.x
Crowe, M., Sheppard, L., & Campbell, A. (2012). Reliability analysis for a proposed critical appraisal tool demonstrated value for diverse research designs. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 65(4), 375–383. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2011.08.006
Crowe, M., & Sheppard, L. (2011). A general critical appraisal tool: an evaluation of construct validity. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 48(12), 1505–1516. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2011.06.004
Crowe, M., & Sheppard, L. (2011). A review of critical appraisal tools show they lack rigor: alternative tool structure is proposed. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 64(1), 79–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.02.008