Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing & Health Sciences

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Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing & Health Sciences
This guide covers some of the basic principles of EBP in healthcare, as well as links to EBP resources.
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Use this Word document to help you form your PICO(T) question and get started with your
library research strategy.
Refer to the other boxes on this page and the “Find EBP Articles” page for additional tips and
 PICOT Question and Library Search
Creating a question using the PICOT elements will provide a framework for the research you
need to conduct an evidence-based study or to make an evidence-based decision.
PICOT Elements:
(P) – Population, Patients or Problem: The sample of subjects used in a study, or the
problem being addressed.
(I) – Intervention: The treatment that will be provided to subjects enrolled in your study.
(C) – Comparison or Control: Identifies an alternative intervention or treatment to compare.
Many study designs refer to this as the control group. If an existing treatment is considered the
‘gold standard’, then it should be the comparison group. A control group is not required for
every type of study.
(O) – Outcome: The clinical outcome that measures the effectiveness of the intervention.
(T) – Time: Duration of the data collection. Some versions don’t include this element, and time
may not be specified in cases where the question is focused on prediction or diagnoses.
PICOT Question Format Examples:
Please be sure to check your assignment, as it may direct you to use a different format.
Intervention: In _______ (P), how does _______ (I) compared to _______ (C) affect
(O) within (T)?
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_______ ( ) _______ ( )
Prognosis/Prediction: In _______ (P), how does _______ (I) compared to _______
(C) influence/predict _______ (O) over _______ (T)?
Diagnosis or Diagnostic test: In _______ (P) are/is _______ (I) compared to
_______ (C) more accurate in diagnosing _______ (O)?
Etiology: Are _______ (P), who have _______ (I) compared to those without _______
(C) at _______ risk for/of _______ (O) over _______ (T)?
Meaning: How do_______ (P) with _______ (I) perceive _______ (O) during _______
Example PICOT Questions:
For residents of long-term care facilities (P), how does implementation of a hydration
assessment tool (I) compared to current practice (C) affect the number of hospital
admissions with the diagnosis of dehydration (O) during a three-month period (T)?
In acute care hospitals (P), how does having a rapid response team (I) compared with
not having a response team (C) affect the number of cardiac arrests (O) during a threemonth period (T)?
In women with gestational diabetes (P), how does a monitored diet and exercise
program over the course of pregnancy (I &T), compare to the use of metformin only (C)
reduce the incidence of high birth weight babies(O)?
In patients admitted for acute myocardial infarction (P), how well does the hospital’s
new data model created from EMR data (I) compared to current practices (C) predict
readmission rates (O) within 30 days after initial discharge (T)?
For patients of a rural health clinic (P), does the use of text message reminders (I),
compared with telephone calls (C) reduce the number of missed appointments (O) over
a six month period (T)?
Melnyk, B.M., Fineout-Overholt, E., Stillwell, S. & Williamson, K. M. (2010). EvidenceBased Practice: Step by Step: The Seven Steps of Evidence-Based Practice. AJN,
American Journal of Nursing, 110, 51-53.
Posing the research question: Not so simple
To make your case, start with a PICOT question
What is your research question? An introduction to the PICOT format for clinicians.
Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2015). Evidence-based practice in nursing &
healthcare: A guide to best practice. (Not in library)
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Subjects: Nursing & Health Sciences Tags: administration, health_services, nursing, publichealth

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