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NURS 4610: Translating Evidence for Nursing Practice: Formulating a PICOT Question

VIDEO TUTORIALS: PICO(T) Question & Search History Assignment

Step 1 – Search for your Patient/Population/Problem (24:43) This video provides additional details on keywords and subject headings that you may find useful for Steps 2-4. To jump directly to that portion of the video, click here

Step 2 – Search for your Intervention/Issue/Variable of Interest (09:22)

Step 3 – Search for your Comparison, if necessary (10:43)

Step 4 – Search for your Outcome (08:52)

Steps 5 & 6 – Combine Searches from Steps 1-4 and Apply Limits (11:27)

Step 7 – Insert Image of Search History into Worksheet (05:55)

These tutorials demonstrate a search in the CINAHL database for completing the Part 2A CINAHL worksheet (in Blackboard, see Assignments).

The same steps apply for completing the Part2B Database 2 worksheet (however, the steps are renumbered as 8 through 14). Depending on which EBSCO database you select for Database 2, the search process for Subject Headings may differ slightly. For guidance on Subject Headings in different EBSCO databases, see the Keywords and Subject Headings tab and refer to the Performing Subject Heading Searches in EBSCOhost Databases box. 

"What is PICOT?"

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a systematic approach to patient care decision-making based on current, best available evidence. 

The first step in EBP involves re-phrasing a clinical problem/area/issue in the form of a focused, searchable, and answerable clinical question

The PICOT Grid is a framework to help you accomplish this step.  

Ideas for Your PICOT Question

Information on clinical problems/issues within your textbooks provide a wealth of material for generating and brainstorming ideas for PICOT Questions. 

Be sure to review Chapter 3.3 Formulating EBP Questions in your Evidence-Based Practice for Nurses (Schmidt & Brown, 2019) text.

Helpful web resources for PICOT question ideas can be accessed below: 

Formulating an EBP Question with the PICOT Grid

Let's consider the following clinical scenario: 

You are an oncology nurse and you notice a great amount of fatigue in many of the cancer patients that you see.  While at a recent nursing conference, you attended a session on the use of yoga in managing fatigue in general.  You are curious if yoga could be effective in cancer patients' fatigue.  You take this idea back to your hospital's Nursing Research Council who then decided to implement this as an EBP project to see if yoga improves cancer patients' fatigue in 6 months.

The following PICOT Grid serves as a framework for rephrasing your scenario into a clinical question:

In (P) cancer patients with fatigue
what is the effect of (I) yoga
compared with (C) usual care
on (O) quality of life
within (T) 6 months 

You now have a focused, searchable, and well-built clinical question:

"In cancer patients with fatigue (P), what is the effect of yoga (I), compared with usual care (C), on quality of life (O) within 6 months (T)?" 

This PICOT question can then be used to develop comprehensive search terms in library databases to locate relevant research evidence to support your PICOT.