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Asking Good Questions

The key to finding appropriate evidence is to ask a searchable, answerable question.  The PICO framework is often used as a guide for asking clinical questions.

= patient, problem, population
I  = intervention
C = comparison intervention, control
O = outcome(s)

Have you noticed resources that refer to PICOT instead of PICO?  Some EBP experts add T to the standard PICO framework.  The T usually stands for time and can be helpful in making sure you're thinking of the appropriate time frame for your intervention and/or outcomes.

Using PICO to Structure a Literature Search

For more information on how to form a clinical, foreground question using the PICO framework, check out the below resources:


Video created by JWS Library at the University of Alberta. This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.