School of Population Health


2015 Evidence-based practice and critical appraisal


Presentations and papers

In this section we provide a blog, a downloadable powerpoint presentation on EPIQ’s GATE –  ‘Graphic Approach To Evidence-based practice’, a youtube video presenting GATE and a paper we have published on GATE. 

Critically appraised topics (CATs) checklists for quantitative studies (updated October 2015):

In this section we provide new (2015) versions of our GATE CAT checklists. The previous versions can be found on the 2013 page.

  • GATE CAT workbooks are designed to help users work through the steps of evidence-based practice in relation to a clinical problem and to provide a template for keeping a standard record of the process.
  • The 2015 GATE CATs are now only presented as MS Excel workbooks. You will need MS Excel to get the most out of these workbooks.
  • Each workbook has four main sheets that follow the steps of evidence based practice: Sheet 1. Ask & Acquire; Sheet 2. Appraise; Sheet 3.  Appraise (print version); Sheet 4. Apply.
  • GATE CAT workbooks are designed to be completed and read electronically and you will find that the text on the Appraise sheet is too small to read when printed. However if you ‘enable macros,’ when you fill out the Appraise sheet, your text will automatically be replicated in a larger font on the third sheet (Appraise (print version)). Don't try to enter text directly into Sheet 3.
  • The Appraise sheet packs a complete critical appraisal onto one page, which is why it can’t be easily read when printed.
  • With the exception of the Systematic Reviews workbook, all workbooks have a calculator embedded in the Appraise sheet. When you type the study numbers into the GATE frame, some simple summary statistics are calculated in the Table below.
  • The Appraise sheet for the Diagnostic test accuracy workbook also includes a likelihood ratio nomogram (on the right) that is automatically filled in when you type numbers into the GATE frame. You can modify the pre-test probability and likelihood ratios by typing into the appropriate cells above the nomogram.
  • Users fill in the yellow- or orange-coloured fields of the CATs. Most of yellow/orange fields either have prompt questions that should be deleted after addressing the questions or pop-up boxes. These pop-up boxes can be easily moved around by clicking and dragging.

The GATE CAT workbooks can be downloaded by clicking on the titles below. A minor update was made to workbooks 1-4 in December 2015. On the Appraise sheet, the Analysis section on all four workbooks now includes a ’not applicable option’ for each of the questions. Also the Analysis section on the Appraise sheet of the Case control studies workbook was locked; this has now been unlocked.

GATE CAT workbooks:

  1. Intervention and risk studies
  2. Diagnostic test accuracy studies
  3. Prognostic studies
  4. Case control studies
  5. Systematic reviews