Meet PICO(D)

Well-developed research questions include elements of what we will call PICO(D).

PICO stands for:

Population: What specific people or conditions are you researching?

Interventions (or exposures): What treatments, diagnostic tests, or other interventions/exposures are you studying?

Comparators: What are you comparing this intervention or exposure to?

Outcomes: What measures or events are you using to evaluate the intervention?

The (D) stands for:

(D)esign: What types of studies should be included to evaluate the interventions and outcomes?

The D is separate from the rest of PICO (D) because some people leave it out and some reserachers use (TS) instead of (D) to stand for Timing (or follow-up duration) and Setting.

In this course, we’ll start with a broad question and use PICO(D) to transform it into a well-formulated question that will guide our search for appropriate evidence.  Click on the next lesson to begin.