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Nursing Resources: Evidence Based Nursing

Ashland University Library sources for Nursing students and faculty.

PICO(T) Method

The PICO(T) format is a useful strategy for summarizing research questions:

 P – Population refers to the sample of subjects you wish to recruit for your study. Consider disease, health status, age, gender, race, sexual orientation.
 I – Intervention refers to the treatment that will be provided to subjects enrolled in your study.  It may include tests, therapies, or medications.
C – Comparison identifies what you plan on using as a reference group to compare with your treatment intervention. Control group.
O – Outcome represents what result you plan on measuring to examine the effectiveness of your intervention. What do you hope to accomplish-recovery, fewer syptoms
T – Time describes the duration for your data collection.


Use the PICOT fomat to formulate questions.

Your PICOT question will fall under one of these types:

  • Therapy/Prevention
  • Diagnosis
  • Etiology
  • Prognosis


Using PICOT to frame a research question

An example of how to use the PICOT format to create a clinical question, and the beginnings of a search strategy. Developed at the  University of Otago Wellington New Zeeland's Medical and Health Sciences Library.

Evidence Based Medicine Web Sites

Evidence Based Practice-- E-Journals



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