The first step in searching for Evidence Based material is to formulate a question that you would like answered. This is called the PICO Question.
The following boxes will help you learn how to formulate a PICO question.
P is for who is the patient or what is the problem
Example: A child under 2 years of age with otitis media.
In this example, is it important to note the age of the child in respect to treatment? Yes, because treatment would vary from an infant to an adult.
Example: A 45 year old male patient with Bell's Palsy.
In this example, is it important to note the age and sex of the patient? Will it change treatment strategies or whatever you are trying to answer? Probably not, but it varies depending on the situation.
Example: All persons entering the critical care unit
In this example, do we need to be more specific as to who "all persons" is? It is possible that it might have to be narrowed down depending on the individual situation. Is it just employees, nurses, everyone including family? It might even have to be divided into multiple PICO questions with one specifying employees or nurses and one for visitors.
I is for the intervention
You want to try "Watchful Waiting" for our infant with Otitis Media:
Example: Watchful Waiting
You want to see if antiviral treatment is effective for Bell's Palsy:
You want to implement a hand hygiene protocol:
Example: Hand rubbing with a waterless, alcohol based solution
C is for the comparison
Compare "watchful waiting" with standard treatment of Amoxicillin x 10 days
Example: Amoxicillin x 10 days
Compare "valacyclovir" with just steroid treatment alone.
Compare "Hand rubbing with a waterless, alcohol based solution" with hand washing with soap and water alone.
Example: Hand washing with soap and water
O is for the outcome.
Example: Reducing symptoms
Example: Improving facial paralysis
Example: Reducing nosocomial infections