Critically appraising systematic reviews in the field of speech-language pathology: A how-to guide for clinician readers

Cara Donohue, Giselle Carnaby, Kendrea L. Garand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: This tutorial will provide speech-language pathologists with foundational knowledge about systematic reviews and their importance in everyday practice. It will also assist clinicians in developing critical appraisal skills so that current research can be translated judiciously to clinical environments for patient care. Systematic reviews are often regarded as the highest level of research evidence for implementing best evidence-based practice, because they synthesize research findings from multiple high-quality research studies, identify methodological weaknesses and biases from the studies included, and assist in illuminating areas for future research work based on current gaps in the literature. While systematic reviews can provide comprehensive knowledge to inform clinical practice, few speech-language pathologists receive training on appraising and applying the findings from systematic reviews appropriately within clinical settings. Conclusion: Clinicians within the field of speech-language pathology can use the framework provided in this tutorial to evaluate systematic reviews as a preliminary step for determining appropriate assessment and treatment methods for implementing evidence-based practice within clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2040-2052
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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