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NUR 2510: Evidence-Based Nursing Informatics

Clinical Questions

A well-built clinical question is specific to patient care and helps guide your search for evidence-based answers. There are generally four components of a good clinical question and they are represented by the acronym PICO.

P  -  Patient, population or problem of interest

I   -  Intervention - therapy, diagnostic test, exposure, etc.

 - Comparison intervention or comparison of interest

O  - Outcome(s) of interest


For example, your question might be: Is Vitamin C more effective than echinacea in preventing the common cold? You can break that down into the PICO format.

P  -  Adult with a cold

I   -  Vitamin C

 - Echinacea

O  - Prevention of cold

The PICO format will help you translate your question from an initial broad topic or a question specific to an individual patient's experience, to a concrete, objective question that you can find clinical evidence to answer.


Learn more:

PICO(S) Question Worksheet:

PICO Tutorial