PICO is a widely-used acronym to assist in remembering the key components of a clinical question. There are additional letters and frameworks to help you formulate a question fitting your research.
Not all parts of PICO are required! PICO is a framework to help you narrow your topic, not a rule.
When should you use PICO?
- In academia when you are looking for evidence to support best practice
- In practice when you have a question about patient care
Why should you use PICO?
- Helps you form a focused question that will return relevant results
- Helps you retrieve a manageable amount of results
- Assists you in brainstorming keywords for your research
- Saves time!