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PICO Method: Introduction

P.I.C.O. Model for Clinical Questions

What is the PICO Model?

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 search 1.

The P.I.C.O. Model for Clinical Questions

P Patient, Population, or Problem How would I describe a group of patients similar to mine?
I Intervention, Prognostic Factor, or Exposure Which main intervention, prognostic factor, or exposure am I considering?
C Comparison or Intervention (if appropriate) What is the main alternative to compare with the intervention?
O 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?

 

References

  1. Schardt, C., Adams, M. B., Owens, T., Keitz, S. and Fontelo, P., Utilization of the PICO framework to improve searching PubMed for clinical questions, BMC medical informatics and decision making, 2007, 7(1):16.
  2. Evidence, S. m. t., How to Use the PICO Method to Form a Clinical Question - YouTube, 2015.

Subject Librarian

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Anar Dautova
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PICO Tools

The example PICO worksheet and tool below help you practice the formulation of clinical questions.

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