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PICO(T) Question

Population (P) – what individual or group are we interested in studying?
Intervention (I) – what is the action (intervention, treatment, etc.) we are considering taking?
Comparison (C) – to what other action (intervention, treatment, etc.) are we comparing the considered action?
Outcome (O) – what do we anticipate as the outcome?
Time (T) – how long will it take to reach the outcome?

  • Note:  not all PICO(T) questions require the "TIME" component 

Potential PICO(T) Question Formats

In__[Population]__, how does __[Intervention]__ compared to __[Comparison]__ affect __[Outcome]__ within __[Time]__ ?

In__[Population]__, how does __[Intervention]__ compared to __[Comparison]__ influence/predict __[Outcome]__ over __[Time]__ ?

In__[Population]__, are/is __[Intervention]__ compared with __[Comparison]__ more accurate in diagnosing __[Outcome]__?

Are __[Population]__, who have  __[Intervention]__ compared with those without __[Comparison]__ at risk for/of  __[Outcome]__ over __[Time]__ ?

Sample PICO Question

Scenario:  A committee decides to conduct a case study to determine whether postoperative gum chewing for abdominal surgery patients can prevent postoperative ileus (lack of intestinal movement).

  • P – Patients recovering from abdominal surgery
  • I – Gum chewing
  • C – Not chewing gum
  • O – Impacts post-operative ileus

PICO Question: “In patients recovering from abdominal surgery, is there evidence that suggests gum-chewing postoperatively, compared to not chewing gum, impacts postoperative ileus?”

Questions? Contact me!

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Laura Killingsworth
Room 515
Subjects: Nursing

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