Template of Asking PICO Questions and Sample PICO Questions.


Evidence-based practice necessitates that physicians employ the best research available to aid in decision-making. To efficiently uncover that research, the physician must ask a well-designed clinical query that includes all of the characteristics that will lead to the discovery of relevant research material.

The first stage is to decide if the question is in the background or foreground. The type of question influences which resource should be used to answer the inquiry.

What are PICO Questions?

The PICO Questions are a new technique to consider clinical concerns that emerge during patient treatment. These questions, unlike informational questions, are highly complicated and might be difficult to construct. They are made up of specific components or concepts that have a role throughout the EBP process.

The PICO Formula.

PICO is a mnemonic that may be used to assist you to explain a clinical topic. It serves as a framework, prompting you to consider certain elements of what you wish to study. As you create your PICO, make sure you are clear and detailed about what you are looking for. This assists you in focusing on the most relevant evidence for use in practice.

In some cases, a T is also added to the PICO framework to assist in determining a specific degree of evidence.

P stands for Patient, Problem, or Population.

I: Interference

C: Contrast

O: Result

T: Timeframe, Study Type, or Question Type

Template of Asking PICO Questions – Asking Answerable PICO Questions.

Templates are helpful when asking answerable PICO Questions; a crucial exercise in ensuring that you use evidence-based decision-making to make the right choice. The following are some of the well-framed inquiry will guide the reader in their first judgment of relevance; and the reviewer in how to gather research, check whether studies are eligible, and conduct the analysis.

You can use the following template depending on your nursing care scenario:


In_______________, what is the effect of ________________on _______________ compared with _________________?




For ___________ does the use of _________________ reduce the future risk of ____________ compared with ______________?




Are (Is) ________________ more accurate in diagnosing _______________ compared with ____________?




Does ____________ influence ______________ in patients who have _____________?




Are ______________ who have _______________ at ______________ risk for/of ____________ compared with _____________






How do _______________ diagnosed with _______________ perceive __________________?

Template of Asking PICO Questions and Sample PICO Questions.

Samples of PICO Questions

PICO Questions can have either quantitative or qualitative reviews depending on template of asking PICO questions used.

The following are some sample PICO Questions based on the review type:

For Quantitative Reviews.


  • Who or what is the question about?
  • What is the problem you are looking at?
  • Is there a specific population you need to focus on?
  • Describe the most important characteristics of the patient, population or problem.


  • What treatment or changes are you looking to explore?
  • What do you want to do with this patient?
  • What factor may influence the prognosis of the patient?


  • Is there a comparison treatment to be considered?
  • The comparison may be with another medication, another form of treatment, or no treatment at all.
  • Your clinical question does not have to always have a specific comparison. Comparison if you are comparing multiple interventions. Control if you are comparing an intervention to do nothing.


  • What are you trying to accomplish, measure, improve or affect?
  • What are you trying to do for the patient? Relieve or eliminate the symptoms? Reduce the number of adverse events? Improve function or test scores?
  • What results will you consider to determine if, or how well, the intervention is working?

Based on Qualitative Reviews.


  • What are the characteristics of the Population or the Patient?
  • What is the Problem, condition or disease you are interested in?


  • Interest relates to a defined event, activity, experience or process


  • Context is the setting or distinct characteristics

Template of Asking PICO Questions and Sample PICO Questions ESSAY HELP>

Sample Questions Using PICO Strategy.

Patient/Problem – Treatment/therapy questions:

  • The patient’s disease or condition.
  • The patient’s risk factors and general health condition.
  • The target disease or condition.
  • The main prognostic factor or clinical problem in terms of its severity and duration.
  • Your patient’s risk factors, current health disorders, or general health condition


  • A therapeutic measure, ex. a medication, surgical intervention, or lifestyle change
  • A preventive measure, e.g., a medication or a lifestyle change
  • A diagnostic test or procedure.
  • The exposure of interest is. usually time, sometimes expressed as “watchful waiting”
  • The intervention or exposure of interest, including some indication of the strength (dose) of the risk factor and the duration of the exposure.


  • Standard of care, another intervention, or a placebo.
  • The current “reference standard” or “gold standard” test for the problem
  • Usually not applicable Identify the standard treatment if your question is about “watchful waiting”


Outcome Measures:

  • Measures of the test utility. ex, sensitivity, specificity, odds ratio
  • Ex: survival rates, mortality rates, rates disease progression
  • Ex disease incidence, rates of disease progression, mortality rates.
  • Ex: mortality rate, days lost from work, pain, disability.
  • Ex: disease incidence. mortality rate, days lost from work


Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice

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