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NURS 2300 - Nursing Concepts II

Ask a PICO Question?

In Evidence-Based Practice, a PICO question is a tool that will help you identify the most important parts of your research question.

PICO stands for:

  • Patient/Population or Problem: Consider the age, sex, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status of the patient(s); or the disease or condition.
  • Intervention: What do you want to do with the patient? Is there a treatment, medication, therapeutic measure, diagnostic test, etc.?
  • Comparison: Are considering alternative interventions? Are you comparing two medications? Is there an alternative to the above intervention, or no alternative at all? Is the intervention being compared to a placebo? There may not always be a comparison in your search.
  • Outcome: Outcomes are measurable! What are you trying to accomplish or affect? What percentage of the patients in the research you examined responded to the intervention?


Example 1:

How does the use of aspirin (I) compare to 30 minutes of daily exercise (C) in the prevention of strokes (O) in men over the age of 50 (P)?

Example 2:

Does daily home blood pressure monitoring (I) influence compliance with medication regimens for hypertension (O) in adults over age 60 who have hypertension (P)? (The implied C-comparison is those not monitoring their blood pressure.)

Example 3:

Do oral contraceptives (I) put women ages 18-30 (P) at greater risk for blood clots (O) than women ages 18-30 who use IUDs (C)?