PICO(T) Questions and an Evidence-Based Approach

Create a 3-5-page submission in which you develop a PICO(T) question for a specific care issue and evaluate the evidence you locate, which could help to answer the question.

PICO(T) is an acronym that helps researchers and practitioners define aspects of a potential study or investigation.

It stands for:

  • P – Patient/population/problem.
  • I – Intervention.
  • C – Comparison (of potential interventions, typically).
  • O – Outcome(s).
  • T – Time frame (if time frame is relevant).

The end goal of applying PICO(T) is to develop a question that can help guide the search for evidence (Boswell & Cannon, 2015). From this perspective, a PICO(T) question can be a valuable starting point for nurses who are starting to apply an evidence-based model or EBPs. By taking the time to precisely define the areas in which the nurse will be looking for evidence, searches become more efficient and effective. Essentially, by precisely defining the types of evidence within specific areas, the nurse will be more likely to discover relevant and useful evidence during their search.


For this assessment, select an issue of interest an apply the PICO(T) process to define the question and research it.

Your initial goal is to define the population, intervention, comparison, and outcome. In some cases, a time frame is relevant and you should include that as well, when writing a question you can research related to your issue of interest. After you define your question, research it, and organize your initial findings, select the two sources of evidence that seem the most relevant to your question and analyze them in more depth. Specifically, interpret each source’s specific findings and best practices related to your issues, as well explain how the evidence would help you plan and make decisions related to your question.

If you need some structure to organize your initial thoughts and research, the Blank PICO Worksheet document (accessible from CQ University Australia’s Evidence Based Practice page) might be helpful.

In your submission, make sure you address the following grading criteria:

  • Define a practice issue to be explored via a PICO(T) approach.
  • Identify sources of evidence that could be potentially effective in answering a PICO(T) question.
  • Explain the findings from articles or other sources of evidence.
  • Explain the relevance of the findings from chosen sources of evidence to making decision related to a PICO(T) question.
  • Communicate using writing that is clear, logical, and professional with correct grammar and spelling using current APA style.

Example Assessment: You may use the following to give you an idea of what a Proficient or higher rating on the scoring guide would look like:

Additional Requirements

Your assessment should meet the following requirements:

  • Length of submission: Create a 3–5-page submission focused on defining a research question and interpreting evidence relevant to answering it. A title page is not required but you must include a reference list.
  • Number of references: Cite a minimum of four sources of scholarly or professional evidence that support your findings and considerations. Resources should be no more than 5 years old.
  • APA formatting: Format references and citations according to current APA style.
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