PICO process

The PICO process is a technique used in evidence based practice to frame and answer a clinical or health care related question.[1][2] The PICO framework is also used to develop literature search strategies.[3] The PICO acronym stands for[4]

  • P  patient, problem or population
  • I  intervention
  • C  comparison, control or comparator[5]
  • O  outcome


  1. "EBM - Question Formulation". Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  2. Huang X, Lin J, Demner-Fushman D (2006). "Evaluation of PICO as a knowledge representation for clinical questions" (PDF). AMIA Annu Symp Proc: 359–63. PMC 1839740. PMID 17238363.
  3. Schardt C, Adams MB, Owens T, Keitz S, Fontelo P (2007). "Utilization of the PICO framework to improve searching PubMed for clinical questions". BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 7: 16. doi:10.1186/1472-6947-7-16. PMC 1904193. PMID 17573961.
  4. "Asking a Good Question (PICO)". 17 November 2004. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  5. "Chapter 2. Systematic Review Methods -- AHRQ Technical Reviews and Summaries -- NCBI Bookshelf". Retrieved 2010-05-18.

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