Evidence-Based Medicine: A FINER PICO Analysis
Fortunately, the evolution of evidence-based medicine has provided systematic tools to simplify the formulation of interrogatives that serve as the foundation of a real clinical research question. One of the fundamentals in the evidence-based medicine toolkit is known by the acronym “PICO,”1–4 which represents diagnostic questions based on 4 areas of knowledge and action: patient or problem; intervention, cause, or prognosis; comparison or control; and outcome. This evidence-based method is designed to make a valid, successful decision based on the skills and knowledge of the clinician, and incorporating the values of the patient is also an important distinction.
The PICO acronym is a framework for asking cogent research questions or important clinical questions for an individual patient or a group of patients. Asking the right question is crucial, but it is especially important when patient care or research is involved. In addition, it is critical to know what types of questions to ask.