This unit provides students with the opportunity to further extend their developing skills in searching, locating and reviewing literature relevant to osteopathic practice by introducing them to the process of critical appraisal. Students will work collaboratively with student peers on a systematic search and literature review assignment that requires them to conduct and justify the process and their findings of qualitative/quantitative systematic literature search on a topic relevant to osteopathy. Students will appraise statistical methods used in the health sciences to further develop their understanding of the critical appraisal process. This unit consolidates the students' knowledge of scholarly literature, research processes and evidence relevant to their chosen profession osteopathy, preparing them for entry into the Master of Health Science (Osteopathy).

Unit details

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Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Appraise statistical analysis techniques used in healthcare research;  
  2. Justify critical appraisal tools to systematically evaluate the validity, strengths, and weaknesses of the available evidence and select the best available evidence to inform practice;  
  3. Synthesise the results of a systematic search; and  
  4. Exhibit professional communication skills when presenting literature review findings.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Online Quiz (45mins) 10%
Report Report on a paper using critical appraisal tools (1500 words). 30%
Other Infographic: Statistical methods in healthcare (1500 words) 30%
Presentation Group presentation of critical appraisal of the results of a systematic search (15mins) 30%
80% attendance is required at workshop classes in the osteopathic program as part of accreditation requirements.

Required reading

Students will be provided with an up-to-date reading list via the VU Collaborate system.

Evidence-Based Medicine. How to Practice and Teach EBM 5th ed
Straus, S., et al. (2018)
London: Elsevier

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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