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Andy Oxman & Iain Chalmers

Key Concepts for teaching critical thinking and critical appraisal
14:00 Wednesday June 20th

Claims about the effects of “treatments” are in the mass media, advertisements and personal communication daily. Treatments include any intervention (action) intended to improve health The ability to assess these claims and make informed choices depends on understanding and applying key concepts that are essential for making judgements about whether the basis for a claim is unreliable, whether comparisons are fair and reliable, and whether to take an action.

The Informed Health Choices project has developed educational resources for schoolchildren and their parents with the objective of improving their ability to assess claims about treatment effects.  As our starting point, we developed a list of Key Concepts that people need to understand to assess these claims. The list currently includes 36 concepts and serves as a framework, or starting point, for teachers, journalists and other intermediaries for identifying and developing resources to help people to understand and apply the concepts.

This workshop will be a structured discussion of the following questions: Are these concepts sensible and useful? To what extent are they applicable to interventions other than those directly relevant to health? How do these key concepts fit with other domains of critical appraisal and critical thinking; and how can we promote learning of these concepts?

The list of key concepts is reviewed annually to allow for revisions of existing concepts or identification and inclusion of additional concepts. This discussion will feed into this.

  • Chalmers I, Oxman AD, Austvoll-Dahlgren A, et al. Key Concepts for Informed Health Choices: A framework for helping people learn how to assess treatment claims and make informed choices. BMJ Evid Based Med 2018; 23:29-33.

July 15 - 17 2019
Registration Open

2019 Call for Abstracts