Home Blog PICO Research Questions With Examples

PICO research questions are considered very helpful in explaining the clinical question to the patients. The PICO acts as a framework that makes the nurses think and analyse the different aspects of the patient that they need to investigate. Before developing a PICO framework, it is essential to know the information the nurses require from their patients. This helps in collecting the most relevant information that is required in practice. There are some questions where T is also added in the question. This is important as it helps in collecting specific data regarding the patient.

PICO (PICO Full Form) stands for:

P - Patients, population, or problem

I - Intervention

C - Comparison 

O - Outcome

T - Type of question, study, or time frame 

While using a PICO framework, it becomes essential to be specific when asking questions. Moreover, it is also important to identify the types of patients required for investigation and the types of tests required during the intervention process.

Good PICO and BAD PICO - The Difference:

A good PICO generally addresses all the framework aspects and will be specific. Moreover, it will help define the outcome and terms of the question.  A GOOD quality PICO question generally helps identify something new regarding aetiology, diagnosis, harm, therapy, etc. 

On the other hand, a BAD PICO is generally a background question in the form of a research question. For instance, what is the impact of Prilosec on the health of the patients making use of immune suppressants? Although, at first, it seems like a quality question for a research study, it is not. This is because asking for information about the effects of any medicine is considered background information, as presented in the drug monograph.  Secondly, the question could be more straightforward.  However, what are the different types of immune suppressants you are looking for? Define the characteristics of the population.  This type of question requires more detailed research and makes it attractive for investigation. 

Examples of PICO research questions 

  • How can giving toys distract children during injecting needle vaccinations to small children for better pain management?
  • What is the role of pain diaries for cancer patients in reducing pain?
  • Is it advisable to use anti-bacterial foam dispensers for nurses in hospitals?
  • How do bedside shifts improve the overall patient care provided to the nurses?
  • Explain the effectiveness of lithotomy positions for women during childbirth.
  • How mechanical raising of the head in a ventilated bed is helpful for patients in reducing the chances of pneumonia? 
  • Explain the benefits of home visits when examining teen pregnancy rather than examining them in schools or colleges. 
  • Explain the impacts of higher potassium intake on children with low blood pressure.
  • How Spironolactone is better than clonidine for reducing blood pressure levels among teenagers.
  • What happens to adults above 21 when they intake high potassium in their diet? 
  • Do workout routines help patients who are suffering from hypertension?
  • What are the benefits of flushing heroin via lines for treating patients with CVLs/PICCs? 
  • Which is the most effective for treating children suffering from seasonal flu? Nasal aspirate or nasal swab
  • What are the benefits of intravenous fluid intervention for treating infants under fatal conditions?
  • How are oxygen saturation levels reduced during oxygen therapy for children with urinary tract infections?
  • What are different ways of providing oxygen to children between the ages of 2- 3 years during deoxygenation?
  • How does regulating sublingual sugar can help conscious children suffering from hypoglycemia?
  • What are some of the most efficient ways of starting and ending oxygen therapy?
  • Compare the benefits of using a wound vac instead of standard moist when treating patients suffering from ulcers and high blood pressure.
  • How negative therapy wound pressure can be more beneficial for patients above the age of 60 years when compared to standard moist therapy?
  • How can patients suffering from schizophrenia improve their conversational skills with the help of group therapy?
  • What are the negative impacts of heroin injection therapy for COPD patients?
  • Explain the effectiveness of music therapy in PACU pain management in patients after coming out of Anesthesia.
  • What is more effective for middle-aged women in the treatment of colds? Zinc tablets or vitamins?
  • How can skin-to-skin contact help reduce the neonatal mortality rate among infants instead of drying and wrapping?
  • What are the chances of oesophageal cancer among nonsmoking adults? 
  • How can vitamin K prophylaxis help prevent Vitamin K deficiency among neonates due to excessive bleeding?
  • How does a pre-surgery cardiac nurse help in preventing depression amongst patients going for cardiac operation?
  • Explain the role of medical intervention in reducing childhood obesity in school-going children.
  • How can nurse-led intervention help reduce mental health issues caused by bullying in school children?
  • How can the use of use beta blockers be helpful for men above the age of 70 years in reducing their blood pressure levels?
  • How motivating health employees to wash hands can help reduce the spread of infections in hospitals?
  • Can psychological intervention used for patients with dementia be more helpful than a placebo?
  • What are the health hazards for children in ICUs and antibiotic consumption suffering from sepsis? 
  • What are the different benefits of antenatal care for pregnant women below 20 years?
  • How does fentanyl is more beneficial than morphine for reducing pain after the age of 50 years?
  • What is the role of new regime exercises in reducing fatal heart diseases in women suffering from chronic heart diseases?
  • What are the benefits of using alarm sensors in hospitals for preventing accidents among senior citizens over 65 years?
  • How does stopping lipids for 4 hours help patients get the desired TG level before receiving TPN?
  • What factors make detecting C deficit in children under five years difficult?
  • How is a kangaroo pump more helpful when compared to a syringe pump for paediatric patients?
  • In storing breast milk 
  • How is using LP/spinal tap during the beginning of antivirals significant for children suffering from fever?
  • What are the benefits of using annual mammograms important in detecting breast cancer among women after the age of 40 years?
  • Is it beneficial to test glucose levels four times daily for patients who have type 1 diabetes?

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