Special Topics in Health Promotion ("Critical Appraisal for Evidence-Based Practice in Kinesiology")


KIN 590B is designed to (a) introduce advanced undergraduate and graduate students to the mechanisms of bias in research and (b) provide students with the fundamental skill set to conduct meaningful, in-depth critical appraisal of published research, with emphasis on Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses. [Course promotion brochure]

Topics include (see detailed list): 

  • Bias in research
  • Coming to terms with the fact the money makes the world go round
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Levels of evidence
  • RCTs
  • Meta-analysis
  • Guideline development
  • Basics of research design
  • Most research findings are false
  • Errors of statistical inference (I, II)
  • alpha, beta
  • t-test, ANOVA
  • Statistical significance
  • Meaningfulness, Effect sizes
  • Multiplicity problem, alpha splitting 
  • Statistical power, power analysis
  • Systematic reviews, Cochrane reviews
  • Basics of meta-analysis
  • Searching the scientific literature
  • Lessons from tobacco and pharmaceutical industry trials 
  • Basics of critical appraisal
  • Evaluating methodological quality in systematic reviews. 
  • Basics of measurement.
  • Random and systematic measurement error
  • Reliability, validity.
  • Sensitivity, specificity
  • Measurement and statistical power
  • Measurement dimensionality 
  • Guided critical appraisal of RCT
  • Student presentations

Teaching 1
The Critical Appraisal course grew out of an experimental "guided journal club" project with student-volunteers enrolled in the pre-health professions option


Teaching 2
In "Project Truth," students attempt to replicate a published meta-analysis. In "Project Scrutiny," they perform a step-by-step comprehensive critical appraisal of a published Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of their choice.