These are foundational questions about clinical issues best answered using a textbook or other reference source.
e.g. What is cancer cachexia and what is its pathophysiology?
These are questions that can be answered using the best current research.
e.g. Is a fish oil-enhanced nutritional supplement effective in stablizing weight in patients with advanced cancer?
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.
C - Comparison intervention or comparison of interest
O - Outcome(s) of interest
For example, you might start by wondering, Is Vitamin C more effective than echinacea in preventing the common cold? Restate your question in the PICO format to get a clinical answer
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.
Burns, P. B., & Chung, K. C. (2010). Developing good clinical questions and finding the best evidence to answer those questions. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 126(2), 613–618. doi:10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181de24a7