In nursing, “PICOT” is a structured framework for formulating clinical research questions. It’s an acronym that represents the key components of a research question: Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, and Time. The PICOT format helps nurses and other healthcare professionals to create focused and well-defined research questions for evidence-based practice.
5 PICO(T) examples in nursing:
Here are a 5 examples of PICOT questions in nursing:
- EXAMPLE 1
- Population: Elderly patients in long-term care facilities
- Intervention: Daily exercise program
- Comparison: No exercise program
- Outcome: Reduction in falls
- Time: Over a six-month period
PICOT Question: In elderly patients residing in long-term care facilities, does a daily exercise program compared to no exercise program lead to a reduction in falls over a six-month period?
- EXAMPLE 2
- Population: Children aged 5-12 with asthma
- Intervention: Use of spacer devices with inhalers
- Comparison: Use of inhalers without spacer devices
- Outcome: Improvement in asthma symptom control
- Time: Within three months
PICOT Question: Among children aged 5-12 with asthma, does the use of spacer devices with inhalers compared to inhalers without spacer devices lead to improved asthma symptom control within three months?
- EXAMPLE 3
- Population: Pregnant women in their third-trimester
- Intervention: Prenatal yoga classes
- Comparison: Standard prenatal care without yoga
- Outcome: Reduction in perceived stress levels
- Time: Throughout the third trimester
PICOT Question: For pregnant women in their third trimester, does participating in prenatal yoga classes, compared to standard prenatal care without yoga, reduce perceived stress levels throughout the third trimester?
- EXAMPLE 4
- Population: Post-operative patients recovering from abdominal surgery
- Intervention: Early ambulation and mobility
- Comparison: Delayed ambulation and mobility
- Outcome: Decreased risk of post-operative complications
- Time: Within the first-week post-surgery
PICOT Question: In post-operative patients recovering from abdominal surgery, do early ambulation and mobility, compared to delayed ambulation and mobility, reduce the risk of postoperative complications within the first-week post-surgery?
- EXAMPLE 5
- Population: Hospitalized adults with pressure ulcers
- Intervention: Use of specialized wound dressings
- Comparison: Standard wound care dressings
- Outcome: Faster healing of pressure ulcers
- Time: Over a two-week period
PICOT Question: Among hospitalized adults with pressure ulcers, does the use of specialized wound dressings compared to standard wound care dressings result in faster healing of pressure ulcers over a two-week period?
These examples illustrate how the PICOT framework can formulate research questions that are specific, focused, and relevant to nursing practice.