Coloured or Irlen lenses for reading difficulties - Part 3: Appraise

3 Appraise
20 minutes

The clinical practice guidelines and secondary sources found require appraisal to determine how believable the conclusions are.

However developed and published appraisal tools are lacking for secondary sources, unlike primary sources.

The National Health and Medical Research Council clinical practice guideline portal reports 4 criteria for which practice guidelines, policy statements and other summaries can be appraised:

  1. The clinical practice guideline contains statements that include recommendations, strategies, or information that assists health care practitioners and patients make decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.The NHMRC does not (except in the case of NHMRC approved guidelines) evaluate the accuracy of the reasoning contained in or the conclusions reached by the guideline.
  2. The clinical practice guideline was produced under the auspices of medical specialty associations; relevant professional societies, public or private health organisations, non-government agencies or government agencies at the federal or state level for current use within Australia. A clinical practice guideline developed and issued by an individual not officially sponsored or supported by one of the above types of organisations does not meet the inclusion criteria.
  3. Corroborating documentation can be produced that a systematic literature search and review of existing scientific evidence published in peer reviewed journals was performed during the guideline development. A guideline is not excluded if corroborating documentation can be produced detailing specific gaps in scientific evidence for some of the guideline's recommendations.
    The NHMRC confirms that a systematic literature search was conducted by the Guideline developer, however the NHMRC has not (except in the case of NHMRC approved guidelines):
    1. evaluated the accuracy of the information contained in the guidelines;
    2. evaluated the accuracy of the information contained in the corroborating documentation; or
    3. evaluated whether the corroborating documentation cited by the guideline in fact supports the statements or recommendations contained within the guideline.
  4. The full text guideline is available upon request in print or electronic format, in the English language. The guideline is current and the most recent version produced. Documented evidence can be produced or verified that the guideline was developed, reviewed, or revised within the last five years.

This is just one example of how such sources could be appraised.

Body Tabs

Resource contributed by: Elizabeth Murray and Isabelle Jalbert
Affiliation: University of NSW
E-mail: i.jalbert[at]

Module 1
Go to top