PICO is a mnemonic used to describe the four elements of a good clinical question. It stands for:
P - Patient/Problem/Population
I - Intervention
C - Comparison
O - Outcome
For Diagnosis, you may consider using:
P - Patient
I - Test
C - Standard
O - Outcome
F - Factors
O - Outcome (ex. Mortality)
Here are links for more information.
The databases listed on this page are excellent places to start a literature search. Please schedule a consultation if you have a specific research topic, and you would like some advice on either getting started or building a good search strategy.
For most of the databases listed, look for the InfoLink button in your results, and select it to view full text options.
Hover over links for more information.
Evidence-Based Practice (EBP): Evidence-based practice is the judicious use of the best research evidence (found in health sciences literature), clinical expertise (what the health care provider knows) and patient values (what the patient wants and believes) to create a plan of action regarding patient care. Evidence-based practice is an umbrella term that covers evidence-based medicine, evidence-based dentistry, evidence-based public health, evidence-based nursing and etc.
These are some of the publication types that are associated with higher levels of evidence. You may want to start at the top of the pyramid and work your way down.
Publication Types by Question Type: Different study types are suited to different questions. For example:
Most Clinical Questions: Meta-analyses, systematic reviews
Therapy: Randomized Controlled Trial
Diagnosis: Prospective, blind controlled trial compared to gold standard
Prognosis: Cohort study, case control, case series/case report
What is it? A point of care medical reference updated daily by a review of the medical literature.
Highlights: Organized in a structured note format, content is easy to navigate; both overall recommendations and specific study results are included; available for mobile resource download.
EBM: References are provided for recommendations. These references are given a grade based on the level of evidence behind the recommendation.
What is it? Natural Standard was founded by healthcare providers and researchers to provide high-quality, evidence-based information about complementary and alternative therapies.
Highlights: When available, the evidence for using substances for specific uses is provided in a table. Interactions and side effects are also listed. You are able to look up information by desired effect or by therapies.
EBM: Grades reflect the level of available scientific data for or against the use of each therapy for a specific medical condition.
National Guideline Clearinghouse (www.guidelines.gov)
What is it? The National Guideline Clearinghouse is a public comprehensive database of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and related documents. It is an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Highlights: Very reliable database of guidleines for physicians, nurses and other healthcare practitioners, with a guideline comparison feature (called Guideline Synthesis).
EBM: Search for guidelines for treatment, intervention, measures and tools.
What is it? A point of care tool written and edited by a global community of 4,800 physicians. Recommendations are often graded in terms of supporting evidence.
Highlights: Contains over 9,000 topics in 19 specialties.
EBM: Provides a grading system for recommendations that shows whether the recommendation is weak or strong and whether or not there is evidence to support the recommendation.