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Evidence-Based Practice for Animal Professions (Critical Appraisal or How to Read a Paper): Part Two. Presented by Dr. Morag Heirs

  • Tuesday, August 10, 2021
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • GoToWebinar


  • A Discounted Rate for Pet Owner Members
  • A member of Pet Professional Guild International Chapter Registration: The registration code can be found in your member's area on the PPG website.
  • PPG Member Registration
  • Public Registration



This session will start by assuming you have some primary research papers saved on your computer or printed out on your desk. Journal articles can look intimidating, and very few make good bedtime reading material. Understanding the scientific form and language is a skill in its own right and improves with practice.

Rather than skimming the abstract, or just reading a summary of the paper on a blog, this session is all about digging into the juicy innards of research articles. Critical appraisal really means working out how much we can trust the results of a study. Did the researchers use the most suitable methods to answer their question? How reliable will those answers be? How useful are the findings in relation to your practice and experiences?

Learning Objectives:

1. Learn the key words and essential sections to look for in an article.

2. Create an outline of the paper using PICOS.

3. Critically read the findings AND decide if it's worth changing your practice.

About Your Presenter    

Dr. Morag K. Heirs PhD MSc MA(Hons)(SocSci) PGCAP CAB

Dr. Morag K. Heirs PhD MSc MA(Hons)(SocSci) PGCAP CAB is a practicing clinical animal behaviorist and an enthusiastic academic with particular interests in research, evidence-based practice, scent work and deaf/blind dogs. She divides her time between academic study and clinical practice.

She is currently a visiting lecturer for the University of Edinburgh (MSc in clinical animal behavior) and supervises MSc research students there. She is also course director for three entirely online MSc programs for practitioners of nutrition science, oriental medicine and complementary medicine, and teaches research skills for practitioners.

She is a director of Well Connected Canine Ltd, based in York, U.K., and manages a small team who provide canine behavior services to private clients, local government organizations, and national animal rescue organizations. She specializes in risk assessment, treating phobias and working with deaf and/or blind dogs. She also includes skills from her previous career as a myofascial release and remedial massage therapist in many consultations.

She also enjoys canicross ultra running with her two collies and a large German wire haired pointer.

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