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Ohio Public Health Practitioners

Search for Evidence-Based Research

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)


Example of a PICO searchable question for public health:
In the Patient/Population with this Problem, does the Intervention more than the Comparison (if any) result in the Outcomes? 

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.