What is the Understanding Health Research tool?

Understanding Health Research is a tool designed to help people understand and review published health research to decide how dependable and relevant a piece of research is. The tool guides users through a series of questions to ask about specific types of health research, and helps users to understand what the answers to those questions say about the quality of the research they are reading.

The Useful information section provides introductions to health research concepts such as correlation and causation, scientific uncertainty and the use of statistics, and the External sources section provides links to helpful external resources.

Assessing evidence can be a complex process. Even researchers do not always agree on the best ways to check the credibility of studies, and different researchers often arrive at different conclusions about the same piece of research. We consulted with a range of organisations and people who are involved in doing research, assessing evidence and using evidence. We have tried to produce an unbiased resource, but to allow you to judge that for yourself we have included a list of people involved in the development of the tool and a description of how the tool was developed.