Evidence Based Practice - Health Care: Formulating Clinical Questions

A guide to evidence based practice resources.
Need Help?
Ask Us!

Types of questions

Questions arise during clinical practice about:

  • Diagnosis
  • Therapy/Prevention
  • Prognosis
  • Harm/Etiology
  • Cost Benefit

The first step to finding answers is to formulate a clinical question.

Formulating Clinical Questions Using PICO

A well-built clinical question is:

  • directly relevant to patient care
  • helps guide searching for evidence-based answers.

Four components of a good clinical question are represented by the acronym PICO:

P - Patient, population or problem of interest

I - Intervention - therapy, prognostic factor, or exposure

C - Comparison intervention, if relevant

O - Outcome(s) of interest