CASP Newsletter

Special Issue, CASPfest 2001
CASPfest 2001

Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) aims to empower individuals and groups by helping them distinguish between and use good quality evidence to support decisions in practice. The programme involves disseminating and cascading knowledge and skills to others – ultimately improving the quality of health and social care services to users.

CASPfest is an annual one-day festival that offers a great networking opportunity for individuals trained in the field of evidence-based health and social care. This national event also welcomes individuals who are interested in finding out more about critical appraisal and provides an opportunity to contribute to new developments.

Muir Gray emphasised that the future of critical appraisal skills and evidence-based practice is in the context of knowledge management. He called upon the audience to assist Agnes Hibbert in the strategic development of CASP to help professionals meet the national targets as set out in the National Service Frameworks and support Clinical Governance. Bec Hanley, emphasised the importance of putting the user at the centre of the picture.

CASP provides training to individuals and groups in how to involve users in decision-making in all aspects of care and processes such as research involvement. In addition to developing our user-involvement services, CASP are increasing their accessibility in training materials and products through mini versions of workshops, open learning material, CD-ROM and e-learning. The developing CASP web-site demonstrated by Steve Ashwell highlighted the information about workshops, facilitator details, and materials available to users wherever they are.

Dr Muir Gray handed out book awards this year to
people who had contributed to the development
and dissemination of the CriticalAppraisal Skills
Programme (CASP).


Parallel Workshops
This year we decided to introduce parallel workshops to the day. These sessions gave participants the opportunity to view new developments like our new Mini-Stats and Mini-CASP packs and to give their opinion of the Qualitative tool and other developments. These sessions proved to be very popular. Several people mentioned that they would have liked the chance to attend more sessions.

Management of change
This session introduced people to some of the key factors that underlie and underpin the processes of change and to look at some of the ‘drivers’ of change and some of the ‘resistors’ to it.
Response: “very useful and the next step”
An introduction to our new mini-CASP package for statistics.
Response: “good product which would be a useful part of a training programme”
Interactive teaching
Showed demonstrations of teaching styles and exercises to encourage audience participation and interactivity.
Response: “I plan to use this in my teaching”
Qualitative research
This session explored key concepts for appraising qualitative research and their place in the realism v relativism debate. A useful discussion provided much “food for thought” and contributed to the development of the new qualitative tool.
Response: “important concepts in Qualitative research”
This was used as a chance to introduce the Mini-CASP and Mini-CASP Trainers packs, and for discussions on their development.
Response: “answered the questions I was asking”
Participants experienced some of the interactive and challenging parts of the programme.
Response: “useful strategies on involving users”

Other activities during the day included a market place. Here people had the chance to network with others and to finally put faces to names. It also gave us, the Education Team, the chance to socialise with those who have helped with the development of CASP whether by teaching or by learning.

Evaluation Examples:

Products available from The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) are:
  • Workshops (mini-workshops, ½ day workshops and Training days)
  • Open Learning Resource package, consisting of 5 units and a workbook.
  • CD-Rom and workbook, consisting of 1 CD-Rom and workbook
  • Regular Newsletters
  • Web-site*
*Further details will be sent out when a completion date is set.

Next years event CASP contact is .

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