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 template for creating a well-built clinical question for evidence-based inquiry.
P - Patient/Population/Problem
I - Intervention/Variable of Interest
C - Comparison (can be "standard care" or "usual care", or the opposite of I - "no meditation," "no exposure to smoke", etc.)
O - Outcome(s)
T - Time
In _____ (P), what is the effect of _____ (I), compared with _____ (C), on _____ (O) within _____ (T)?
PICO(T) Question Example:
"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)?"
Building a Database Search Strategy for the PICO(T) Question:
|PICO(T) Elements||Example||Starter List of Synonyms and Search Terms||Initial Keyword Search Strategy|
|P - Patient/Population/Problem||Adult cancer patients experiencing fatigue||
cancer* OR neoplasm* OR oncolog* OR tumor* OR tumour* OR malignan*
fatigue* OR tired* OR letharg* OR exhaust*
|I - Intervention/Variable of Interest||Meditation||
|meditat* OR mindful* OR breath* OR relax* OR yoga OR "guided imagery"|
|C - Comparison (may be "standard care" or "usual care")||Standard care||Not needed as a search term|
|O - Outcome(s)||Improving quality of life||
Quality of life
Quality of living
|"quality of life" OR "quality of living" OR "life quality" OR well-being OR wellbeing OR "well being"|
|T - Time||6 months||Not needed as a search term|
Your required textbook provides a wealth of material for generating and brainstorming ideas for PICO(T) Questions.
Be sure to review Chapter 8 in your Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice text for ideas and examples of clinical questions for EBP research.
Two copies of this book are on reserve in the Mulford Library. To use a copy in the library, please ask a staff member at the library front desk to retrieve it for you.
Helpful web resources for PICOT question ideas can be accessed below: