Evidence-based practice is quite critical but makes the intervention process in nursing easier. Considered as one of the noble professions in which the nurses care of the people and their welfare. It makes use of clinical questions relevant to the patient’s problem in a way so as to extract the correct diagnosis. PICO helps in formulating a strategy by identifying some of the key concepts that need to be measured in answering a particular question. Such evidence-based nursing is important to be considered in your assessment tasks that need to be answered with PICO.

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Elements of PICO

Let us take a look at the following set of elements in the processes of PICO.

P - Patient or Problems

The problems which are being faced by your patients can be extracted here by asking the right questions as:

  • What is the age, ethnicity, and gender of your patients?
  • What is the exact problem?

These questions are quite relevant as it can determine to find out the problem that your patient is suffering from.

I - Intervention

Interventions are actions taken by the authorities to reach towards the goals which are set accordingly.

  • Which intervention plans to follow?
  • What measures should be beneficial to the patient?

C - Comparison

The comparison is included in PICO to find out other alternative medication or any other form of treatment or there can be no treatment at all.

  • Is there any alternative to the current medications?

O - Outcomes

Your outcome should be measured as the best evidence out of all the relevant rigorous studies with a proper statistical determination. Some of the good question that can be asked:

  • What effect you like to see?
  • What medical effects you don’t want to see?
  • Are there any side effects involved?

Additional Elements of PICO

There are two other additional elements of the PICO analysis model. It comprises of type of foreground question and the type of methodologies used.

Types Of Clinical Question

There are different types of clinical questions that are subdivided into questions that can relate to prognosis, diagnosis, therapy, and etiology.

  • Therapy - There are specific treatment questions that require you to achieve the relevant outcomes. It can include a range of counseling sessions, drugs, change in the diet plan, surgical intervention, and much more.
  • Diagnosis - Identifying a disorder in a patient is crucial in specifying the symptoms of such disorders. Such measures are highlighting in nature and these are incepted by asking specific problem questions.
  • Prognosis - Relevant questions about the progression of a particular disease or the possible likelihood of occurring disease.
  • Etiology/Harm - There have been questions of a negative impact that falls within the intervention or other exposure.

Types of Study Design

  • Meta-analysis - It is a form of statistical techniques that corresponds to summarise the results of your study.
  • Systematic Review - A review serves the purpose of specifying different methods in identifying, appraising and summarising the relevant studies in addressing a particular question. In evidence-based nursing scenario, it refers to the corresponding systematic reviews of RCTs used.
  • Randomized Controlled Trial - This study involves the use of randomly assigned participants that consists of two or more groups. The first group is called the experimental group while the other group(s) is control group. These are tested in order to receive an alternative treatment that follows the assessment of the relative effects of the intervention.
  • Controlled Clinical Trial - The study involves a trial based on two or more different treatment groups where participants are assigned into.
  • Cohort Study - The corresponding process determines a non-experimental study considering a group of people (a cohort), and then analysing at how these events differ among the people within the group. This way you can examine all the risk factors that can occur related to such specific events.
  • Case-control study - This type of study design is evidently used in acknowledging the cause of rare events typically associated with the patient’s problems. If you are a student and have to write their assessments on such case studies, you can contact our nursing case study assignment help

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About the Author

Keith Morris

Keith Morris

Keith Morris is a certified nurse who retired as a registered nurse after participating in a WHO campaign in Geneva. He is dedicated to helping students score good grades in their nursing courses and are offered a chance to help the people and establish a better healthcare community across the globe. He works as a nurse at a local clinic with underprivileged children and provides assignment guidance to the students. Reflection writing, aged care, Gibbs reflective cycle, cardiac nursing, pathophysiology, etc. are a few to name from his area of dominance.


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