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Evidence Based Practice Guide for Nursing Students: PICO

Introductory Guide for BSN, RN to BSN, BRAND, Nursing MS and DNP students at University of Wyoming.

Importance of the PICO Question

The PICO question is a different way to think about the clinical questions that arise during patient care. Unlike informational questions, these questions are quite complex and sometimes a challenge to formulate. They are comprised of specific types of components, or concepts, and have a purpose throughout the EBP process.

The PICO Formula

It is not coincidence that this process is called formulating. When you formulate a PICO question, you are creating a formula that does several things:

  • Focus the question by identifying the components or concepts in the question
  • Defines the concepts that will be used when performing a complex literature search
  • Used to ascertain which articles in a search retrieval best address the question
  • Helps determine if studies found address the components of the original question
  • Ultimately the process will provide the information needed to make a decision whether the intervention in the PICO question should be implemented

PICO Tutorial

Click this button to go to PICO Questions: A Tutorial

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