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PICO(T) Questions and an Evidence-Based Approach

Order Instructions

Create a 3-5 page submission in which you develop a PICO(T) question for a specific care issue and evaluate the evidence you locate, which could help to answer the question.



PICO(T) is an acronym that helps researchers and practitioners define aspects of a potential study or investigation.


It stands for:


P – Patient/population/problem.

I – Intervention.

C – Comparison (of potential interventions, typically).

O – Outcome(s).

T – Time frame (if time frame is relevant).

The end goal of applying PICO(T) is to develop a question that can help guide the search for evidence (Boswell & Cannon, 2015). From this perspective, a PICO(T) question can be a valuable starting point for nurses who are starting to apply an evidence-based model or EBPs. By taking the time to precisely define the areas in which the nurse will be looking for evidence, searches become more efficient and effective. Essentially, by precisely defining the types of evidence within specific areas, the nurse will be more likely to discover relevant and useful evidence during their search. When applying the PICO(T) approach, the nurse can isolate the interventions of interest and compare to other existing interventions for the evidenced impact on the outcome of the concernAs a baccalaureate-prepared nurse, you will be responsible for locating and identifying credible and scholarly resources to incorporate the best available evidence for the purposes of enhancing clinical reasoning and judgement skills. When reliable and relevant evidence-based findings are utilized, patients, health care systems, and nursing practice outcomes are positively impacted.


PICO(T) is a framework that can help you structure your definition of the issue, potential approach that you are going to use, and your predictions related to the issue. Word choice is important in the PICO(T) process because different word choices for similar concepts will lead you toward different existing evidence and research studies that would help inform the development of your initial question. When writing a PICO(T)-formatted research question, you want to focus on the impact of the intervention and the comparison on the outcome you desire.

For this assessment, please use a health care issue of interest from your current or past nursing practiceFor this assessment, select a health care issue of interest and apply the PICO(T) process to develop the research question and research it.


Your initial goal is to define the population, intervention, comparison, and outcome. In some cases, a time frame is relevant and you should include that as well, when writing a question you can research related to your issue of interest. After you define your question, research it, and organize your initial findings, select the two sources of evidence that seem the most relevant to your question and analyze them in more depth. Specifically, interpret each source’s specific findings and best practices related to your issues, as well explain how the evidence would help you plan and make decisions related to your question.


If you need some structure to organize your initial thoughts and research, the PICOT Question and Research Template document (accessible from the “Create PICO(T) Questions” page in the Capella library’s Evidence Based Practice guide) might be helpful.


In your submission, make sure you address the following grading criteria:


Define a practice issue to be explored via a PICO(T) approach. Create a PICO(T)-formatted research question

Identify sources of evidence that could be potentially effective in answering a PICO(T) question (databases, journals, websites, etc.).

Explain the findings from articles or other sources of evidence as it relates to the identified health care issue.

Explain the relevance of the findings from chosen sources of evidence to making decision related to a PICO(T) question.

Communicate using writing that is clear, logical, and professional with correct grammar and spelling using the current APA styleAdditional Requirements

Your assessment should meet the following requirements:


Length of submission: Create a 3–5-page submission focused on defining a research question and interpreting evidence relevant to answering it.

Number of references: Cite a minimum of four sources of scholarly or professional evidence that support your findings and considerations. Resources should be no more than 5 years old.

APA formatting: Format references and citations according to the current APA style.

Resources that can be used:The resources below explore the PICO(T) process:


Abbade, L. P. F., Wang, M., Sriganesh, K., Jin, Y., Mbuagbaw, L., & Thabane, L. (2017). The framing of research questions using the PICOT format in randomized controlled trials of venous ulcer disease is suboptimal: A systematic survey. Wound Repair & Regeneration, 25(5), 892–900.

This article presents a study that examined the use of PICO(T) questions to locate evidence related to specific types of resources and research.

Ho, G. J., Liew, S. M., Ng, C., Shunmugam, R., & Glasziou, P. (2016). Development of a search strategy for an evidence based retrieval service. PLoS One, 11(12), 1–14.

This article presents a study comparing the use of PICO(T) questions in a literature search to other search strategies.

This first two chapters in the following text, of which the Capella library has limited copies, could be helpful in expanding your knowledge regarding the PICO(T) process.


Boswell, C., & Cannon, S. (2020). Introduction to nursing research. Jones & Bartlett Learning.The resources below explore communicating research:


Bullington, J., Söderlund, M., Elisabeth Bos Sparén, Kneck, Å., Omérov, P., & Cronqvist, A. (2019). Communication skills in nursing: A phenomenologically-based communication training approach. Nurse Education in Practice, 39, 136-141.

This article presents the approach to communication in clinical situations and also discusses the barriers related to nurses sharing and communicating.

Gutiérrez-Puertas, L., Márquez-Hernández, V.,V., Gutiérrez-Puertas, V., Granados-Gámez, G., & Aguilera-Manrique, G. (2020). Educational interventions for nursing students to develop communication skills with patients: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(7), 2241.

This article provides preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of interventions used to train nursing students in patient-centered communication. Although all the interventions obtained significant results in communication skills, it has not yet been determined which methodology is more effective.

Case Studies that can be used:If you choose not to use a problem from your practice experience as the basis of this assessment, consider reviewing the following case studies:


National League for Nursing. (n.d.). Unfolding cases: Advancing care excellence for persons with disabilities.

National League for Nursing. (n.d.). Unfolding cases: Advancing care excellence for seniors.


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