PICO is an acronym for
PICO is used to create a researchable question based on a clinical situation you have encountered. Based on your PICO question, you will identify keywords and/or subject terms to use in database searches.
You can use PICO to develop your clinical question.
P - Patient or population/disease: Which population are you studying? (Consider age, gender, ethnicity, group with a certain disorder, etc.)
I - Intervention, prognostic factor, or exposure: What do you want to do for the patient? (Consider therapy, exposure to a disease, risk behavior, prognostic factor, preventative measure, or diagnostic test)
C - Comparison or control: Are you comparing two interventions or variables? (Consider absence of disease, absence of risk factor, or use of placebo)
O - Outcome: What is the expected result or what do you hope to accomplish, improve or affect? (Consider disease incidence, accuracy of a diagnosis, rate of occurrence of adverse outcome, survival or mortality rates)What is the expected result or what do you hope to accomplish, improve or affect? (Consider disease incidence, accuracy of a diagnosis, rate of occurrence of adverse outcome, survival or mortality rates)
Figure from Tree of different types of studies, CEBM, https://www.cebm.net/2014/04/study-designs/
The type of study can generally be worked at by looking at three issues (as per the Tree of design in Figure 1):
For observational study the main types will then depend on the timing of the measurement of outcome, so our third question is:
Information from Spotting the Study Design, CEBM, https://www.cebm.net/2014/04/study-designs/
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