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OT 634: Research and Evidence in Clinical Practice

PICO Framework

The PICO acronym has come to stand for:

  • P  Patient, problem or population
  • I  Intervention
  • C  Comparison, control or comparator
  • O  Outcome(s) (e.g. pain, fatigue, nausea, infections, death)

Example Question

For people with mild median nerve pain, does a night-time wrist brace reduce the future risk of carpal tunnel syndrome compared with no brace?

PICO Example
  Population/Problem Intervention Comparison Outcome
Concept Mapping People with mild median nerve pain Using a night-time wrist brace Not using a night-time wrist brace Risk of carpal tunnel syndrome
MeSH Terms "Median Nerve"[Mesh] OR "Median Neuropathy"[Mesh] "Wrist"[Mesh] ??? "Self-Help Devices"[Mesh] (probably not) N/A "Median Neuropathy"[Mesh] OR "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome"[Mesh]
PubMed boolean search mild? ("Night-time" OR "night") AND wrist AND (brace OR support) [Do not include in search] -

"Carpal Tunnel Syndrome"[Mesh] AND ("Night-time" OR "night") AND wrist AND (brace OR support)

Concept Mapping

Guiding questions: Who, What Where, When. Topic: broad concepts and keywords, synonyms and related terms, specific concepts and keywords.

Now try it yourself

  • Is mirror therapy effective for brain-injured or stroke patients with partial paralysis or gait disorders?
  • What are the most prevalent post-hurricane health needs of elderly Florida residents with chronic health conditions?
  • How does speech therapy compare to cognitive behavioral therapy in improving speech fluency in adolescents?
  • ...Or come up with one yourself!