Picot is a wordplay that can assist to create a clinical question and direct the search for obtaining evidence. The PICOT question is made in a formula (format) of creating re-searchable and answerable inquiry. Writing such a question appears simple, but may not be easy as it seems. When a research or a person writes appropriate question, it builds the entire process of researching and determining evidence becomes simple and direct. Obtaining appropriate outcome helps the process of looking for evidence.
PICOT question may appear strange, but this depends on the outcome that an individual is focused to obtain. Applying this format can assist the researcher to find effective evidence in a more rapid and effective manner. The following is an acronym of a PICOT:
- P stands for patient population
- I represent issue of concern or intervention
- C stands of comparison intervention
- O signifies outcome
- T stands for time duration
Applying such a PICOT format may assist a researcher to develop intended clinical questions and direct his research for evidence and relevant information. For instance, a researcher may intend to understand the impacts of flu vaccination on the influence of pneumonia affecting older adults. The researcher can fill the blank spaces as illustrated:
In …………. (P), how do…………. (I) compared to…………© influence………. (O) over …………. (T)?
Examples of PICOT questions are illustrated below
In patients aging 45 years and above (P), how does the application of an influenza vaccine (I) related (compared) to not obtaining the vaccine © influence the possibility of contracting pneumonia (O) during the period of flu season (T)?
Are children (P) who are taken care by obese adoptive guardians or parents (I) at more risk of being affected by obesity (O) related to children (P) without obese adoptive guardians or parents © during the ages between 5 and 18 (T)?
The Above examples illustrate how a question can be constructed by applying the PICOT format and determines how it affects the research for outcomes and evidence.