Smokeless tobacco use and circulatory disease risk: a systematic review and meta-analys

of 2
Healthcare Sciences – Research Methods Module

Critical Appraisal Assessment

Student guidelines

Assessment Aims

The assessment task has three principal aims, to assess your ability:

To revise and utilise the material covered by the Population Health and Evidence Based

Practice (PHEBP) lectures in year 1, and the more recent tutorials on Statistics and Critical

Appraisal (year 2).

To read and understand a research paper, extract the salient points and reach your own

conclusions as to the findings.

To write your answers succinctly and in grammatically correct and fluent English.

A summary of the taught material relevant to this assignment includes: –

Study design (in particular, the characteristic features of cohort studies & case-control


Confounding, particularly in relation to observational studies.

Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Statistical significance testing and the interpretation of p values.

Interpreting relative risks and 95% confidence intervals.

Assessment task & guidance

We would like you to read and reflect on a recent article that appeared in the journal Open Heart in

2018. The full paper reference is as follows: Rostron BL, Chang JT, ANIC GM, Tanwar M, Chang

CM, Corey CG. Smokeless tobacco use and circulatory disease risk: a systematic review and


There is one statistical term in this paper that you will not have come across before and that you do

not need to understand (i.e. Cochran’s Q). Cochran’s Q is an alternative measure of study

heterogeneity to the I
statistic. Also, you do not need to know any details about the Newcastle-

Ottawa scale, other than as explained in the text of Question 5, it is used to score study quality

from 1 to 9, where the best studies would be scored 9 and the worst 1.

You will find the Question Sheet for the assignment on the relevant CANVAS page following the Critical Appraisal Tutorial

(which is scheduled for October 20
at 10:00am on TEAMS). There are a total of 13 questions.

You should answer all 13 questions.
Only include the answers in your submission. Do not

include the questions. Your submission must not exceed 1,800 words.
Each question is

followed by a word count range, to help you keep within the overall word count limit and to help you

gauge the amount of detail required in answering each question. We have also listed the number

of marks (out of a total of 91) awarded for each question.