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PICO Questions

PICO and Behavioral Health

Although the majority of the EBP movement is directed toward developing clinical guidelines, the critical element focuses on the therapeutic relationship and clinical judgment associated with providing care.   

Thanks go out to the University of Wyoming Library, who granted permission for us to reuse portions of their PICO tutorial for this research guide.

PICO: Let's Begin

PICO Questions: a Tutorial

Evidence Based Practice is a process and the PICO question plays an important role in that process. The question does not form in a vacuum. Frequently the question arises as an informational or background question, but becomes a PICO question when a decision must be made that affects practice. What is the best practice? What studies are available to help with this decision?

When completing this tutorial, you will have an understanding of these concepts:

  • Improve understanding of background and foreground questions
  • The importance of PICO to the EBP process
  • Why Interventions are the focus of the PICOT question
  • The components of the PICO format
  • Formulating the question
  • The role of PICO in selecting the database and formulating the search strategy
  • Using PICO to select relevant studies from your search retrieval

PICO Basics

Just want the basics?  The University of Wyoming has a PICO question tutorial that will guide you through the steps of generating a question.