What is a CAT?

What is a CAT?




Critically Appraised Topics The critical appraisals in this site have been written using | CATmaker, developed by Douglas Badenoch at the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM). This software is highly recommended (no financial interest!) and may be ordered on the | CEBM website. This site has a wealth of information and resources for anyone interested in EBM.

The appraisals present critical information about each trial to enable a quick appreciation of the methodology and results. They are an introduction to each trial and should not be viewed as a substitute for a careful appraisal of the whole article. The structure and aims of the CAT approach are discussed more fully on the CEBM site and I recommend a visit there.

Note: The views expressed in the CATs and discussion groups are those of the individual authors concerned. While each CAT has been peer-reviewed, the owners of this site do not accept any responsibility for omissions or errors of fact contained in these pages.

The expiry date of the CAT is a projected date of review. Once a CAT has passed the expiry date, sufficient time has elapsed (in the author's opinion) for further work to be published.

How to make a CAT

These instructions are intended for the editing members of this wiki. Any user is welcome to participate in the generation of new CATs for this site, but will need to submit them for approval and modification by the wiki owner prior to publication on the site.


Step 1:Get hold of a full text copy of the article of interest. The wiki owner can usually provide this if you do not have it.


Step 2:Read the article carefully and attempt to answer the questions posed in the critical appraisal sheet. This list of questions will ensure you do not miss a fatal flaw in the article and will assist greatly in making the CAT.


Step 3:Using the answers you have recorded on the critical appraisal sheet and the full text of the article, open CATMaker and fill in all the required fields. You can stop this process at any time, but MUST save your work as an 'unfinished kitten', or it will be lost forever!


Step4:When the CAT is complete, you need to export it. I prefer to use the 'Output as webcat' option, then change the suffix of the file created from 'htm' to 'doc' or 'docx'. You can then format the contents as you wish along the lines of the CATs already on this wiki.


Step 5:When you have finished, I suggest you create a new page on this wiki and load it up - remembering to let the other members know you have done so. We can then all play with it until satisfied it can be linked into the existing pages.


Clear as mud? Let's see how it goes!