Offsite training for AHPs: Critical Appraisal

I did a Critical Appraisal session with some children’s physiotherapists at their site last Thursday. It was a paper that they had chosen because it dealt with a patient group that was similar to their own demographic. It was a mixed methods study so I had to make a checklist myself as there wasn’t one readily available.

I really like the building they work in. The room we had the session in was designed as a meeting room so there was more than enough space and I could arrange tables and chairs so it was suitable for the session. Everyone had had at least a cursory glance at the paper, so I gave them ten minutes to catch up before we launched into the critical appraisal. It was one of the best CA sessions I’ve had to date I think. One thing with these sessions is that as there are usually only about 4-6 people, it’s really noticeable when someone is very quiet or someone dominates the session. But everyone had something to contribute. I also consciously tried to draw out and enforce the quieter participants – one of many useful tricks I picked up from the CASP course I went on in October.

There was a proper discussion going on after about five minutes and I talked less than I usually do, which I always think is a good sign, because it means the participants are doing the work of the session by themselves and I’m just steering it in the right direction.

Even though people weren’t happy with the paper, they criticised it in constructive ways so the session didn’t finish on a complete downer. They also brought up some other library-related issues that I’m following up, and they’re planning to have a journal club after their monthly meetings now. I offered library support for this, but emphasised that this was all about support rather than policing/controlling what they do.

All in all, I felt like a successful information literacy trainer, which was a nice feeling to have before going on study leave for a day and a half to finish my Chartership portfolio, which I handed in on Friday. Onwards and upwards!

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