PICOT Question

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On a broad scope, keeping up with the latest evidence-based practice in healthcare can be a difficult task for nurses. The amount of evidence-based information available can be overwhelming. When you compound that with the challenge of finding the latest information on a smaller scope in a specialized area of the medical field it can be even more daunting. One tool that nurses can use to make that search easier is to formulate a clinical question in the PICOT format. A PICOT question is designed to make searching for that information easier by gathering feedback from others. This paper will define what a PICOT question is, identify a need for change in my current work environment and formulate a PICOT question to help me gather evidence to help facilitate that change. PICOT Defined The PICOT format is composed of five different components. The (P) stands for the population of interest that the question is directed toward. This could be a broad population such as all people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or smaller in scope such as males over 45 years of age diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The next component is the (I), which represents the intervention or issue of interest. This could be the use of a particular medication or procedure, such as lab tests, to address and understand the patient’s problem. The (C) component is the comparison of interest. This may include a control group of patients that were given a placebo or the intervention was the usual standard of care. The (O) component is the expected outcome of the intervention implemented. It is important to include the expected outcome of an intervention into the form of the question because it can enable the person doing the research to find existing evidence... ... middle of paper ... ...le, “Recovery of evidence-based practice” highlights the importance of utilizing evidence-based practice to care for mentally ill patients. “They also found a similar consensus in requirements that mental health care be based on evidence, be focused on effective treatments and best practices, and result in measurable outcomes” (Gordon & Ellis, 2013, p. 4). Conclusion In conclusion, I believe that formulating a PICOT question can be an effective way for nurses to find pertinent information quicker and easier with increased relevance to the intended subject. It can assist with finding stronger supporting evidence that can help nurses make better clinical decisions and bring about change where needed for patient safety and satisfaction. By utilizing the PICOT format, nurses can help formulate new interventions that will lead to better outcomes for the patients.
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