The Centre for Evidence-based Medicine (CEBM) at the University of Oxford defines Critical Appraisal Topic (CAT) as a short summary of an article from the literature, created to answer a specific clinical question while testing evidence for validity, clinical relevance, and applicability.
Critical appraisal is the thorough evaluation of search results to identify the best articles on a particular search topic. Critical Appraisal Tools (CATs) can help with this evaluation.
Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) is produced by Solutions for Public Health (SPH), a not-for-profit NHS public health organisation in the UK. CASP is valuable because it provides a different evaluation tool for various types of research studies.
The CEBM 'Levels of Evidence' document sets out one approach to systematising this process for different question types.
Contains useful tools and downloads for the critical appraisal of medical evidence. Example appraisal sheets are provided together with several helpful examples.