What is your question?

Along the lines of my recent posts on evidence-based practice, I have one more thing I’d like to share. It’s something I wish I had known back in nursing school and especially in graduate school while working on my final research paper before graduation. It’s called a PICOT question.

PICOT is an acronym to help you formulate a clinical question and guide your search for evidence. Using this format can help you find the best evidence available in a quicker, more efficient manner. Take a look:

P = patient population

 

I = intervention or issue of interest

 

C = comparison intervention or issue of interest

 

O = outcome

 

T = time frame

 

Try using the PICOT format to help you formulate your next clinical question and search for relevant studies and publications. For example, if you wanted to know the effect of flu vaccination on the development of pneumonia in older adults, you could fill in the blanks like this:

In _________(P), how does __________ (I) compared to _________ (C) influence _________ (O) over ________ (T)?

 

In patients ages 65 and older,  how does the use of an influenza vaccine  compared to not receiving the vaccine  influence their risk of developing pneumonia during the flu season?

 

What’s your question? Try using the PICOT format and see how it affects your search results! You can find more information, including other templates to help you formulate your question in Asking the Clinical Question: A Key Step in Evidence-Based Practice

References

Stillwell, S., Fineout-Overholt, E.,  Melnyk, B., & Williamson, K. (2010). Evidence-Based Practice, Step by Step: Asking the Clinical Question A Key Step in Evidence-Based Practice. American Journal of Nursing, 110(3), 58-61.

Woods, A. (2011). Implementing Evidence Into Pra

Posted: 10/29/2011 1:32:50 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 7 comments
Filed under: ebp, evidence-based practice, picot, research question


Comments
g3
April 23. 2015 06:35
An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. There's no doubt that that you ought to publish more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people don't speak about such topics. To the next! Cheers!!
lipo
8/6/2015 1:37:00 PM

Bec
March 29. 2015 04:46
I need help with a PICO question as I am blocked right now. It is a scenario about Immunisations. It goes like this.
At a recent GP visit it was suggested that Bronwyn, have Amy, her 11-month old baby immunised against Measles, Mumps and Rubella very soon. Bronwyn, who worked as a health care professional, primarily in Aged Care, is aware that there is quite a bit of community debate about whether to immunize or not. She is afraid of doing anything that could harm Amy and she has heard a lot about the side-effects of immunisations, such as Autism in the media. However, she is not really sure about the benefits and risks of immunisation and she has also heard that there is an increase in Measles infection rates recently. She wants to do what is best for Amy and so she decides she needs to know more about this issue before she makes a final decision.

I need to form a PICO question from this. Can you help me?
Regards
Bec
8/6/2015 1:36:38 PM

lmbonsall
BegumFebruary 2. 2015 01:59
Hi Sherin,
Thanks for reaching out to us for some help on this! I'm thinking that you'd have to come up with what you specifically want to find out from the article you mention. Some ideas...Will you compare one cause to another or maybe compare two fall prevention methods? I think you have to zone in on exactly what you want to find out and then add that into the PICOT formula:

In older adults(P), how does __________ (I) compared to _________ (C) influence the risk of falls (O) over ________ (T)?

I hope this helps!
Lisa
8/6/2015 1:36:15 PM

Sherin Begum
January 19. 2015 15:48
Hi

I am struggling with a PICOT question and I desperately need some help please. The article entitled "Reducing the likelihood of falls in older People". It goes over the causes of falls such as environment, age, medications, foot wear, etc... and then it covers prevention strategies such as medication reviews, alarms, modifying the physical environment, physical restraints, a very good nursing assessment. From this we need to formulate a PICOT question.
8/6/2015 1:35:55 PM

Cristina
May 21. 2013 11:33
I'm a struggling nursing student. Is this a good PICOT question.
Among breast cancer surgery patients is attending a nurse lead outpatient lymphedema screening and prevention program more effective than receiving only post-op nurse teaching for preventing late stages of lymphedema after 2 years from surgery.
8/6/2015 1:35:29 PM

Paula Pitterson-Punch
October 20. 2012 23:05
John is a 56 year old male who was initially diagnosed six months ago with Health failure. He was treated via a three-day stay in the hospital and sent home with a drug regime and sing then has been seen in the er two times and now re-hospitalized with shortness of breath, pedal edema, and wiight gain. He does not understand why the medication are not working. He cannot miss anymore days at workd or he will lose his job and medcal insurance for him and his family. His wife is a stay home mom for thier three boys. John is a construction worker and does take his medications as directed but continues to eat what he wants. He states he cannot exercise because he works six days a week and is just too tire when he gets home. He is always tired, up all night going to the bathroom, and is extremely worried about his health issues and the future. His wife, Kathy, is also very worried because she is a stay at home mon and hand workd since the virth of their first child who is 16 years old. During this hospital stay, another cardiac catheterization reveals that the ejection fraction of his heart is only 40. The doctore has told him he needsto change his lifestyle, continue with his meds, and monitor his vital signs at home. John's wife, Kathy, is 40 yers old and finds herself eoverwhelmed with the diagnosis and is worried that she may have to go back to work if John is not able to continue working. She wantss to know what she can do to help John. She will do anything but she is not sure what will help John. The nurse came in and handed her a bunch of papers about diet and exercise and said a home health nurse would set him up for home monitoring.
8/6/2015 1:35:12 PM

sharon isree
August 27. 2012 07:07
56 year old male newly diagnosed with heart failure is non compliant with diet and exercise with edema and weight gain. Please help with PICO and question.
8/6/2015 1:34:46 PM

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