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The Question

The Question

Constructing a focused clinical question provides the blueprint for a search strategy that finds relevant literature. A commonly used mnemonic is PICOt.

P= Patient, problem or population

I= Intervention

C= Comparison intervention

O= Outcome

t= Appropriate time frame for intervention


Resources for Constructing Clinical Questions

Find it Fast by Yale, Introduction: Approximately three minutes in length; introduces and explains the importance of PICO.

Find it Fast by Yale, The Clinical Question: Approximately 4 minutes in length; relates types of clinical questions and the best studies that answer them.

The Well-Built Clinical Question: A Key to Evidence-Based Decisions, by Richardson et al.(1995): the classic article that introduced the idea of using PICO to form clinical questions. Available in print on the third floor of Prior Hall.

Asking the Clinical Question: A Key Step to Evidence-Based Practice, by Stillwell et al. (2010): Part of a series on EBP in the American Journal of Nursing.