Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare

Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare

PICO(T) Worksheet

First, identify each element of your PICO on the line below, then take a look at the templates below to help you formulate a PICO(T) question.


P: Population/disease ( i.e. age, gender, ethnicity, with a certain disorder)

P: ____________________________________________________________________


I: Intervention or Variable of Interest (exposure to a disease, risk behavior, prognostic factor) Note: Not every question will have an intervention (as in a meaning question – see below).

I: ____________________________________________________________________


C: Comparison: (could be a placebo or “business as usual” as in no disease, absence of risk factor). Note: This is not used in a meaning question – see below.

C: ____________________________________________________________________


O: Outcome: (risk of disease, accuracy of a diagnosis, rate of occurrence of adverse outcome)

O: ____________________________________________________________________


T: Time: The time it takes to demonstrate an outcome (e.g. the time it takes for the intervention to achieve an outcome or how long participants are observed). This is an optional “add-on” for a PICO question.




For PICO questions about a nursing intervention/therapy:

In _______(P), what is the effect of _______(I) on ______(O) compared with _______(C) within ________ (T)?


For PICO etiology questions:

Are ____ (P) who have _______ (I) at ___ (increased/decreased) risk for/of_______ (O) compared with ______ (P) with/without ______ (C) over _____ (T)?


For PICO questions involving prevention:

For ________ (P) does the use of ______ (I) reduce the future risk of ________ (O) compared with _________ (C)?


For PICO questions that predict:

Does __________ (I) influence ________ (O) in patients who have _______ (P) over ______ (T)?


For PICO questions that want to know more about the meaning of…..

How do ________ (P) diagnosed with _______ (I) perceive ______ (O) during _____ (T)?

Based on Melnyk B., & Fineout-Overholt E. (2010). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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