PICO is an acronym used by medical practicitoners, students and researchers to help focus a medical question/issue and develop an effective search strategy.
Use this worksheet to formulate your research strategy.
P Patient, Population or Problem
Who is the patient or population? (e.g. male, female, infant, adult)
What is the condition or disease you are interested in? (e.g. pregnancy, cancer)
I Intervention or exposure
What do you want to do with this patient? (e.g. surgery, administer drugs)
What is the alternative to the intervention? (e.g. do nothing, different drug)
What are the relevant outcomes? (e.g. infection, death)
Here are some examples:
AND - use to connect two separate concepts to narrow the search (AND finds articles that contain BOTH terms)
OR - use to search for similar terms to expand the search (OR finds articles that contain EITHER term)
NOT - use to exclude terms to narrow the search (NOT find articles that contain one term but NOT the other)