AP03: Critical Appraisal of Research

This course is written by Dr Genevieve Becker PhD MSc MEd IBCLC. Critical Appraisal of Research is a short course developed to help health professionals read research articles and appraise them for their validity and relevancy to their practice. Data collection, statistical analysis, understanding of results and assessing the quality of research findings are all described.

The aim of this course is to give the participant confidence to read a research article, taking note of what it is, where the evidence comes from, what it is saying, how good the evidence is and its relevance to their practice.

Access Time:
1 month (starting from the time of purchase)
Enrolling in more than 1 course? Time is cumulative ie buy 2 courses, have 2 months access to both courses
4 CH
VII. Clinical Skills – 4 hours


Your enrollment period for AP03 Critical Appraisal of Research is for a period of one month, commencing on the day your Username and Password are emailed to the email address you provide on your enrollment form. Your Certificate of Achievement can be collected from the program when you successfully complete the Assessment.

Course readings

All required readings are provided within the course.

Course activities

Throughout the course the student will be fully engaged in the content, looking at current research articles to apply the knowledge gained, reflecting on points of interest, and completing short self-test quizzes in all topics to consolidate what they have learned.

On successful completion of this course, the student will be able to

  • distinguish types of materials
  • distinguish research approaches, data sources, and collection methods
  • describe common terms of analysis and presentation of findings
  • examine indicators of the quality of the evidence
  • discuss the usability of the research in their work
  • list key concerns for ethical research
  1. Introduction
    • Why learn to critically appraise research?
  2. What is research?
    • Types of material
    • Who wrote it? Who is the intended audience?
    • How was the material accessed?
    • What is the source?
  3. Where does the evidence come from?
    • Research approach: Qualitative or Quantitative
    • What is data? How is it collected?
    • Is the approach, sources, and method appropriate?
  4. What does the study say?
    • Types of data
    • Descriptive statistics
    • Inferential statistics: Risk & effect; Measures of association; Evidence of effect; Association or causation
  5. How good is the evidence?
    • Reliability and validity
    • Influence, distortion & bias
    • Weakness and limitations
    • Levels of evidence
    • Is it relevant and useable?
  6. Ethics of research
  7. Summary

An online, automatically graded multiple-choice quiz forms the assessment for this course. The student will be required to achieve 80% to pass and will have three attempts, the highest grade being recorded as the final grade.

The Certificate of Completion is downloaded from the course upon achievement of a passing grade on the final assessment quiz.


On successful completion of this course, you will be awarded:

  • 4 R CERPS
  • 4 CH
  • Recertification 
    • VII. Clinical Skills – 4 hours
      • D. Research
        • 1. Apply research in practice
        • 2. Appraise and interpret research results
        • 3. Use research to help develop policies and protocols

Quality Assurance

This module has been written and updated by Dr. Genevieve Becker, PhD, Dip Diets, MSc, MEd, IBCLC
Educational design by Health e-Learning.

The following experts reviewed this course and provided opinion:

  • Dr Judy Hopkinson PhD IBCLC
  • Dr Ruth Cantrill PhD RN RM

The following International Board Certified Lactation Consultants pre-tested the course:

  • Assunta Osterholt BS IBCLC
  • Karen Foard IBCLC
  • Adria Cannon BS  IBCLC
  • Karen Zeretzke IBCLC
  • Cher Sealy RN BSN IBCLC
  • Patricia Berg-Drazin RLC IBCLC CST
  • Janet (Jaye) Simpson IBCLC

Enrollments are accepted online, or upon receipt of a faxed or mailed enrollment form (number and address on enrollment form). 

US$60.00 per course

Enrollment period is for one month per course, which is cumulative when you enroll in more than one course.