Without a well-focused question, it could be difficult and time-consuming to identify appropriate resources and search for relevant evidence. Practitioners of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) use a specialized model framework, called PICO, to form the question and facilitate the literature search1.
|Patient, Population, or Problem
|How would I describe a group of patients similar to mine?
|Intervention, Prognostic Factor, or Exposure
|Which main intervention, prognostic factor, or exposure am I considering?
|Comparison or Intervention (if appropriate)
|What is the main alternative to compare with the intervention?
|Outcome you would like to measure or achieve
|What can I hope to accomplish, measure, improve, or affect?
|What Type of question are you asking?
|Diagnosis, Etiology/Harm, Therapy, Prognosis, Prevention
|Type of Study you want to find
|What would be the best study design/methodology?
Evidence, S. m. t., How to Use the PICO Method to Form a Clinical Question - YouTube, 2015. https://youtu.be/D3IS1cV-tLQ
The example PICO worksheet and tool below help you practice the formulation of clinical questions.