PICO is a useful way of formulating clinical research questions and a well-build question or problem should include the four components of the model: Patient/Problem, Intervention, Comparison and Outcome.
PICO Linguist is a tool from the NLM that lets you search for research with terms that incorporate the PICO model. Using it, you can limit your search results to certain types of studies (clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, etc.) or to practice guidelines.
|Patient/Problem||Describe the patient. Important descriptors might include: age and gender. Then describe the problem the patient is experiencing. For example, you might say, "A four-year-old boy with asthma"|
|Intervention||Describe the treatment you are considering for the patient. This may be a drug, such as "theophylline" for the child with asthma|
|Comparison||Ask yourself what main alternative therapy exists for the problem. Example: "inhaled glucocorticosteroids"|
|Outcome||Ask yourself what result you want to see because of the therapy. Example: "decreased hospitalizations and school abscences"|