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Evidence Based Practice

EBP Questions: PICO

PICO is an acronym used to describe the four elements of a compelling clinical research question

P - Population/Problem: How would I describe the problem or a group of patients similar to mine? 

I - Intervention: What main intervention, prognostic factor, or exposure am I considering?

C - Comparison: Is there an alternative to compare with the intervention? 

O - Outcome: What do I hope to accomplish, measure, improve, or affect? 

PICO Question Formats

Fill in the blanks with information from your clinical scenario:

THERAPY

In_______________, what is the effect of ________________on _______________ compared with _________________?

Use: Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), meta-analyasis. Also: cohort studies, case-control studies, case series. 

 

PREVENTION

For ___________ does the use of _________________ reduce the future risk of ____________ compared with ______________?

Use: Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), meta-analyasis. Also: prospective studies, cohort studies, case-control studies, case series. 

 

DIAGNOSIS OR DIAGNOSTIC TEST

Are (Is) ________________ more accurate in diagnosing _______________ compared with ____________?

Use: Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs). Also: cohort studies. 

 

PROGNOSIS

Does ____________ influence ______________ in patients who have _____________?

Use: Cohort studies. Also: case-control studies, case series. 

 

ETIOLOGY

Are ______________ who have _______________ at ______________ risk for/of ____________ compared with _____________ with/without______________?

Use: Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), meta-analyasis, cohort studies. Also: case-control studies, case series. 

 

MEANING

How do _______________ diagnosed with _______________ perceive __________________?

Use: Qualitative studies. 

Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

PICO Examples

Finding the Evidence Part 1 & 2