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Physiotherapy

This research guide will provide you with starting points for finding information on physiotherapy.

PICO for quantitative studies

P

I

C

O

Patient, Population or Problem

Intervention/Issue or exposure

Comparison

Outcome

What are the characteristics of the patient or population?

 

What is the condition or disease you are interested in?

 

What do you want to do with this patient (e.g. treat, diagnose, observe)?

What is the alternative to the intervention (e.g. placebo, different drug, surgery)?

What are the relevant outcomes (e.g. morbidity, death, complications)?

Quantitative example

How would you begin searching for this topic? See the completed worksheet.

Image of question with PICO fields assigned

PICo for qualitative studies

 

P

I

Co

Population

Interest

Context

 

What are the characteristics of the patient or population?

 

What is the condition or disease you are interested in?

 

The phenomena of Interest relates to a defined event, activity, experience or process

Context is the setting or distinct characteristics.

Note: Context not comparator

 

Qualitative example

A qualitative study is a textual study. No specific requirement for an outcome statement exists in qualitative reviews. A comparator is not required.

Write the PICo for this example of a qualitative study:

What are caregivers'experiences in providing home-based care in Africa?

+Show me the answer

Why use PICO?

PICO is a useful tool for asking focused clinical questions.

A search for quantitative and qualitative reviews requires slightly different versions of this concept - see diagrams below.

PICO searching

When undertaking database searching combine synonyms within a column using OR then combine columns using AND. 

stroke OR cerebrovasular accident OR CVA (search 1)

elderly OR older OR aged (search 2)

Search 1 AND Search 2 = population (ie elderly stroke patients)

Some ways to remember this:  "OR down then AND across"  -  "OR ideas that are the same AND ideas that are different"

PICO worksheet

Use this PICO worksheet to assist in converting your PICO into an effective search strategy. This includes identifying:

  • Keywords or synonyms
  • Type of study
  • Which database/s to search

Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the contribution made by Curtin University Library to this page.