Emergency physicians’ perceptions of critical appraisal skills: a qualitative study

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This article is free to access.


Background: Critical appraisal of medical research is a valuable skill set that emergency physicians must learn in order to become competent clinicians. Despite the need for effective critical appraisal skills training, these skills have remained difficult to teach and assess. This study aimed to explore emergency physicians’ perceptions of the barriers and motivations for learning critical appraisal skills in order to develop more successful critical appraisal training methods for Emergency Medicine (EM) residents. Methods: This qualitative study involved in-depth, semi-structured interviews with emergency physicians interested in education and administration at an urban academic hospital. Transcribed interviews were descriptively coded by three main reviewers. A coding template was developed after coding an initial set of interviews and used to code the remaining transcripts. A thematic analysis of the codes was conducted to create a summary report which was given to the interviewees as part of a member checking process to further solidify themes. Results: Fourteen emergency physicians participated in the study. They described time limitations, perceived difficulty, and disinterest as major barriers to learning critical appraisal. Physicians noted patient care as well as professional identity goals of being a good educator or researcher as motivations for developing critical appraisal skills. Conclusion: There remain significant challenges to learning critical appraisal skills as well as an increasing need to build these skills during residency. Educational theories and a greater emphasis on professional identity formation during residency can be incorporated to create a more effective approach to teaching critical appraisal skills despite these barriers.




Wood, S., Paulis, J., & Chen, A. (2022). Emergency physicians’ perceptions of critical appraisal skills: a qualitative study. BMC Medical Education, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-022-03358-y

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free