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NURS 4610: Translating Evidence for Nursing Practice: Formulating a PICO(T) Question

What is a PICO(T) Question?

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

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

PICO(T) is a a template for creating a well-built clinical question for evidence-based inquiry. It includes the following components:

Example
P - Population/Problem Adult cancer patients experiencing fatigue
I - Intervention/Variable of Interest Meditation
C - Comparison (may be "standard care" or "usual care") Standard care
O - Outcome(s) Quality of life
T - Time 6 months

PICO(T) template:

In _____ (P), what is the effect of _____ (I), compared with _____ (C), on _____ (O) within _____ (T)?

Sample PICO(T) question

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

A well-built PICO(T) question forms the basis of a database search strategy for research evidence.

Concepts from the PICO(T) question are used to construct a comprehensive database search with keywords and subject headings describing each relevant component of the PICO(T). 

Ideas for Your PICO(T) Question

Your required textbook provides a wealth of material for generating and brainstorming ideas for PICO(T) Questions. 

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