Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences


2017 Evidence-based practice and critical appraisal


2017 Critically appraised topics (CATs): the GATE CAT workbooks for quantitative studies (updated April 2017):

In this section we provide new (2017) versions of our GATE CAT workbooks. The previous versions can be found on the 2015 page along with other resources describing the GATE approach to critical appraisal. The main difference between the 2015 and 2017 CATs is that the new CATS for Intervention and Diagnostic studies now have print versions of all components of the Appraise sheet. Several other minor changes were made to the Appraise sheet on the Intervention and Prognostic CATs, mainly to the text in the circle of the GATE frame.

  • 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.
  • CATs are presented as MS Excel workbooks, so you will need MS Excel.
  • Each CAT workbook has three main sheets that follow the steps of evidence based practice. These are: Sheet 1. Ask & Acquire; Sheet 2. Appraise; Sheet 3. Apply.
  • CAT workbooks are designed to be completed and read electronically and so 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 a sheet called Appraise (print version). Don't try to enter text directly into Sheet 3.
  • In the 2017 versions of the CATs, in addition to the Appraise (print version) sheet, a GATE frame with numbers will be automatically created on the Study numbers (print version) sheet, and the GATE calculator will also be created on the Results (print version) sheet.
  • The Appraise sheet includes a complete critical appraisal on 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 with 95% CIs are calculated in the Table below.
  • The Appraise sheet for the Diagnostic test accuracy CAT 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.

GATE CAT workbooks: