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Forming Focused Questions with PICO: About PICO

What do the letters in PICO stand for?

  • Patient or problem
  • Intervention
  • Comparison
  • Outcome

Additional letters (PICOTTS)

  • Timeframe
  • Type of study
  • Setting

PICO Question Templates

When should you use PICO?

  • In academia when you are looking for evidence to support best practice
  • In practice when you have a question about patient care

Why should you use PICO?

  • Helps you form a focused question that will return relevant results
  • Helps you retrieve a manageable amount of results
  • Assists you in brainstorming keywords for your research
  • Saves time!

Related Guides

Get help with your PICO

Other guides and tools:

*This guide was recreated with permission from the UNC Health Sciences Library.