CASP Checklist:
10 questions to help you make sense of a Qualitative research
How to use this appraisal tool: Three broad issues need to be considered when appraising a
qualitative study:
Are the results of the study valid? (Section A)
What are the results? (Section B)
Will the results help locally? (Section C)
The 10 questions on the following pages are designed to help you think about these issues
systematically. The first two questions are screening questions and can be answered quickly.
If the answer to both is “yes”, it is worth proceeding with the remaining questions. There is
some degree of overlap between the questions, you are asked to record a “yes”, “no” or
“can’t tell” to most of the questions. A number of italicised prompts are given after each
question. These are designed to remind you why the question is important. Record your
reasons for your answers in the spaces provided.
About: These checklists were designed to be used as educational pedagogic tools, as part of a
workshop setting, therefore we do not suggest a scoring system. The core CASP checklists
(randomised controlled trial & systematic review) were based on JAMA 'Users’ guides to the
medical literature 1994 (adapted from Guyatt GH, Sackett DL, and Cook DJ), and piloted with
health care practitioners.
For each new checklist, a group of experts were assembled to develop and pilot the checklist
and the workshop format with which it would be used. Over the years overall adjustments
have been made to the format, but a recent survey of checklist users reiterated that the basic
format continues to be useful and appropriate.
Referencing: we recommend using the Harvard style citation, i.e.: Critical Appraisal Skills
Programme (2018). CASP (insert name of checklist i.e. Qualitative) Checklist. [online] Available
at: URL. Accessed: Date Accessed.
©CASP this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-
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Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) part of Oxford Centre for Triple Value Healthcare
Section A: Are the results valid?
1. Was there a clear
statement of the aims of
the research?
HINT: Consider
what was the goal of the research
why it was thought important
its relevance
Can’t Tell
2. Is a qualitative
HINT: Consider
If the research seeks to interpret or
illuminate the actions and/or subjective
experiences of research participants
Is qualitative research the right
methodology for addressing the
research goal
Can’t Tell
Is it worth continuing?
3. Was the research
design appropriate to
address the aims of the
HINT: Consider
if the researcher has justified the
research design (e.g. have they
discussed how they decided which
method to use)
Can’t Tell
Paper for appraisal and reference:
4. Was the recruitment
strategy appropriate to
the aims of the
HINT: Consider
If the researcher has explained how the
participants were selected
If they explained why the participants
they selected were the most
appropriate to provide access to the
type of knowledge sought by the study
If there are any discussions around
recruitment (e.g. why some people
chose not to take part)
Can’t Tell
5. Was the data collected in
a way that addressed the
research issue?
HINT: Consider
If the setting for the data collection was
If it is clear how data were collected (e.g.
focus group, semi-structured interview
If the researcher has justified the methods
If the researcher has made the methods
explicit (e.g. for interview method, is there
an indication of how interviews are
conducted, or did they use a topic guide)
If methods were modified during the
study. If so, has the researcher
explained how and why
If the form of data is clear (e.g. tape
recordings, video material, notes etc.)
If the researcher has discussed
saturation of data
Can’t Tell
6. Has the relationship
between researcher and
participants been
adequately considered?
HINT: Consider
If the researcher critically
examined their own role,
potential bias and influence
during (a) formulation of the
research questions (b) data
collection, including sample
recruitment and choice of
How the researcher responded to
events during the study and
whether they considered the
implications of any changes in the
research design
Can’t Tell
Section B: What are the results?
7. Have ethical issues been
taken into consideration?
HINT: Consider
If there are sufficient details of how the
research was explained to participants for
the reader to assess whether ethical
standards were maintained
If the researcher has discussed issues
raised by the study (e.g. issues around
informed consent or confidentiality or how
they have handled the effects of the study
on the participants during and after the
If approval has been sought from
the ethics committee
Can’t Tell
8. Was the data analysis
sufficiently rigorous?
HINT: Consider
If there is an in-depth description of the
analysis process
If thematic analysis is used. If so, is it clear
how the categories/themes were derived
from the data
Whether the researcher explains how the
data presented were selected from the
original sample to demonstrate the analysis
If sufficient data are presented to support
the findings
To what extent contradictory data are
taken into account
Whether the researcher critically examined
their own role, potential bias and influence
during analysis and selection of data for
Can’t Tell
9. Is there a clear statement
of findings?
HINT: Consider whether
If the findings are explicit
If there is adequate discussion of the
evidence both for and against the
researcher’s arguments
If the researcher has discussed the
credibility of their findings (e.g.
triangulation, respondent validation, more
than one analyst)
If the findings are discussed in relation to
the original research question
Can’t Tell
Section C: Will the results help locally?
10. How valuable is the
HINT: Consider
If the researcher discusses the
contribution the study makes to existing
knowledge or understanding (e.g. do they
consider the findings in relation to current
practice or policy, or relevant research-
based literature
If they identify new areas where research
is necessary
If the researchers have discussed whether
or how the findings can be transferred to
other populations or considered other
ways the research may be used