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Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine

Tips, techniques & links to help you find answers for your research papers & projects

Using PICO to Formulate Clinical Questions

PICO (alternately known as PICOT) is a mnemonic used to describe elements of a good clinical question. It stands for:

P: Patient/Population/Problem
I: Intervention
C: Comparison
O: Outcome

Many people find that the PICO process helps them clarify their question, which in turn makes it easier to find an answer. 

Use PICO to generate terms - you'll use some of the terms in your literature search for the current best evidence, and you'll use them in evaluating the information you do find.