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  PARTNERS / The University Of Birmingham (CASPin) – England

CASPin Logo

University of Birmingham
Dept of Public Health and Epidemiology
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT

The worldwide interest in evidence-based practice continues to grow in health and social care. The CASP International Network (CASPin) is a non-profit making organisation that promotes skills in finding, critically appraising and acting on the results of research evidence. CASPin has worked as an informal network since 1998, but adopted a formal constitution in 2000 and is registering for charitable status. CASPin is currently administered through the University of Birmingham.

The aims of CASPin are as follows:

Bullet To collaborate internationally to help those who work in health and social care make sense of scientific evidence and to inform their decisions

Bullet To create a multidisciplinary network which supports colleagues teaching critical appraisal and related skills

Bullet To develop and support independent organisations running local workshops to help people to develop skills to find, critically appraise and act on evidence in health and social care

Bullet To seek funding to promote the organisation’s activities

Bullet To develop and disseminate successful new teaching materials and methods

Bullet To improve the evidence base of our own teaching practice

The network can help members by:

Bullet Sharing information, resources and skills

Bullet Organising training for finding, critically appraising or acting on evidence

Bullet Offering training for teachers of critical appraisal skills

Bullet Helping to start local, sustainable cascades of teaching

CASPin evolved from the work of the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme in Oxford, whose work began in 1993. A similar critical appraisal skills programme was started in Spain (CASPe) in 1997 and further networks grew up in many countries including Poland, Hungary, Japan, India. CASP workshops have been held in 30 other countries, settings, and audiences, particularly in South America and Central and Eastern Europe.

The first international training week was held in London, England 1999, and was attended by over 20 delegates from 11 countries. In 1998-2005 CASPin held a further 8 international training weeks. One of these, held in Budapest in 2002 was a training week tailored for participants from countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

In 2005 the training week was held in Oxford at St Hughs College in collaboration with the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM). The combining of programmes proved successful and the format is to be repeated in September 2006.

The most common way for CASPin to deliver training is by interactive teaching programmes, lasting from half to five days. The workshops, based on modern principles for adult learning, are tailored according to the learning needs of participants. A typical workshop lasts for around 3 hours and consists of an interactive introductory talk, small group work and large group feedback.

CASPin’s educational philosophy is summarised as follows:

Bullet Workshops should be multidisciplinary

Bullet Skills in organising and delivering workshops should be cascaded as widely as possible

Bullet Learning should be problem-based

Bullet Learning should be enjoyable

Bullet Educational materials should be high quality and user-friendly

Bullet Workshops should include small group work

Bullet Teaching should be interactive and build on the skills of the participant


Contact person: Amanda Burls (Tel: +44121 414 7508) Email: a.j.burls@bham.ac.uk



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