Answered By: APUS Librarians Last Updated: Jun 13, 2023 Views: 892
WHAT IS PICO?
PICO is an acronym used to formulate a strong clinical question that is also used to create strong search strategies for finding the best evidence. Use these steps to create and apply a PICO search strategy:
- Organize the concepts in your clinical question using PICO.
- Identify the keyword/s that represent the concepts to create a strong search strategy.
- Test the search strategy in a biomedical literature database, including PubMed or CINAHL. Check results for relevancy, adding additional medical subject terms as keywords as needed.
- Apply or remove database limits as needed.
- Review results.
HOW DO I USE PICO?
How to Perform a PICO Search: View this video to learn how to perform a PICO Search
7 Steps to the Perfect PICO Search - CINAHL: In this document, explore the importance or evidence-based nursing practice, take a deeper dive into the PICO process and provide an example of the PICO process in action through a case scenario.
Clinical question: Does hand sanitizing reduce hospital-acquired infections as well as handwashing with soap?
1. Organize the concepts in your clinical question using PICO:
|Comparison=||soap and water|
|Outcome=||reduced hospital-acquired infections|
2. Identify the keyword/s that represent the same concepts to create a strong search strategy
Medical Subject Headings
|hospital-acquired infections||hospital-acquired infection OR cross-infection OR nosocomial infection|
|Intervention=||hand sanitizer||hand sanitizer OR hand sanitizing OR handwashing methods|
|soap and water||N/A (Omit for comparisons against standard practice)|
|Outcome=||reduced hospital-acquired infections||prevention|
3. Test the search strategy in a medical literature database, including PubMed or CINAHL.
4. Check results for relevancy, adding additional medical subject terms as keywords as needed. Apply or remove database limits as needed. For a comprehensive search, remove the full-text limit.
5. Review results.
Nursing Research Guide: See this guide to learn more about evidence-based practice and nursing resources.
For more help using PICO using specific databases:
Need personalized help?
Librarians are available 365 days/nights per year!
See our schedule.