Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Evidence Appraisal and Synthesis

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Health Sciences

DESCRIPTION This study unit provides students with the knowledge and skills to be able to carry out and appraise systematic reviews. It leads the student through the whole process of evidence appraisal and synthesis, providing students with an understanding of the strengths and limitations of systematic reviews and how to critically approach the available evidence and synthesise it to allow evidence-based conclusions to be drawn.

Study-unit Aims

The aim of this study unit is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to appraise the evidence, synthesise the results and arrive at conclusions to guide research and practice. These aims are consistent with the overall purpose of the MSc in Nursing/Midwifery/Mental Health programmes which is that of allowing students to be able to critique and conduct research of the highest quality and utilise evidence for practice.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Describe in detail the systematic review process in relation to a specific research question
- Identify the strengths and limitations of a published systematic review
- Identify ways of applying evidence appraisal and synthesis within a clinical and research setting
- Identify ways of describing and appraising primary research studies

2. Skills: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Set the scope of a systematic review
- Carry out a comprehensive and systematic search using online databases and other methods to identify evidence
- Screen the evidence in relation to its relevance to the scope of the review
- Describe and appraise the primary research studies in relation to the quality of the available evidence using suitable critical appraisal tools
- Provide a summary of the main conclusions on the basis of the available evidence

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Main Texts

- Gough, D., Oliver, O., Thomas, J. (ed.) (2012) An introduction to systematic reviews Sage Publications Ltd.
- Glasziou, P., Irwig, L., Bain, C., Colditz, G. (2001). Systematic Reviews in healthcare: A Practical Guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Ajentumobi, O. (2002). Making sense of critical appraisal. London: Hodder Arnold.
- Greenhalgh, T. (2010). How to read a paper: the basics of evidence based medicine (4th ed.) London: BMJ.

Supplementary Readings

- Crombie, I.K. (1996). The pocket guide to critical appraisal: a handbook for health professionals. London: BMJ.
- Khan, K.S., Kunz, R., Kleijnen, J., Antes, J., (2005). Systematic reviews to support evidence-based medicine: How to review and apply findings of health care research. London: Royal Society of Medicine.
- Straus, S.E., Richardson, W.S., Glasziou, P., & Haynes, R.B. (2011). Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach EBM (4th ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Ind Study & Ind Online Learning

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%
Important - Due to the COVID19 Pandemic the information regarding the method of assessment indicated above may have been changed. Further details have been provided by your F/I/C/S.

LECTURER/S Stephen Lungaro Mifsud
Vincent Marmara
Roberta Sammut (Co-ord.)
Josef Trapani

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.