Randomised Control Trials


This module looks at the critical appraisal of randomised controlled trials. By the end of this unit module you will:

  • Understand why randomised controlled trials produce the most reliable evidence for questions about effectiveness
  • Understand the important elements of trial design to minimise bias
  • Have critically appraised a randomised controlled trial


In this module you will find:

  1. An introduction to the critical appraisal of randomised controlled trials. It should take you about an hour to complete this introduction.
  2. A paper to read and critically appraise. This can take anywhere between 45 to 60 minutes, depending on how thorough you are.
  3. A CASP checklist to help you read the paper critically. You should critically appraise the whole paper using the checklist before looking at our answers.
  4. A guided critical appraisal of the same paper that you can work through to evaluate the answers you gave on your own. Note there can be more than one interpretation of some of the questions - the answers we give are only our opinion, not necessarily "The Truth". (If you think our answers are wrong do please email us by clicking here.)
  5. A CASP checklist with our answers that you can download.
  6. A quiz section with answers and feedback for you to test yourself. If you cannot access the quiz then please create an account or login.
  7. A selection of useful texts and resources you may wish to read to enhance your knowledge and understanding.

The components of this unit follow a logical sequence and you should work through them in the order they appear. You can, however, test yourself with the quiz section before or afterwards depending on whether you want to check your baseline understanding beforehand, or your understanding after you have completed the module.