UTS Library

Evidence-based Practice & PICO searching: PICO

In this guide:

Using the PICO framework

The first step in searching a database for Evidence Based Practice resources is breaking down your clinical scenario into the PICO framework. PICO stands for:

  • P - Population or Problem (who is your patient? What is their problem, disease or condition?)
  • I - Intervention (how are you going to treat your patient?)
  • C - Comparison (what will you compare the intervention against? This could be a placebo, alternative treatment, or no treatment at all)
  • O - Outcome

Example Scenario:

Jane, a 17 year old girl with new onset moderate depression, presents you with a new prescription for Prozac (fluoxetine), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Her mother seems concerned about the use of this drug and asks whether it works better for depression than the one available over the counter, St. John's Wort (hypericum perforatum).

 

P

I

C

O

Key words from the scenario Depression Prozac St. John's Wort Efficacy of Prozac in treating depression 

 Search terms

depression

Prozac

OR

Fluoxetine

OR

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

OR

SSRI

 St. John's Wort

OR

Hypericum perforatum

 

To create your own PICO search table, download and edit this document.