PICOS is an mnemonic for:
P – Population/Patient/Problem
I – Intervention
C – Comparison
O – Outcome
S – Setting/Study type
(T) – Time
P: For what group do you need information?
I: What medical intervention do you need to study the effect of?
C: What is the evidence that the intervention produces different results than another intervention or no intervention?
O: What is the effect of the intervention?
S: What is the research setting (e.g., ambulatory setting) or type of study (e.g., RCT)?
T: Is there a timeframe for the outcome?
Examples for using PICOS in different settings:
In____, what is the effect of _____on _____ compared with ______?
Are _ who have __ at __ risk for/of __ compared with __ with/without __?
DIAGNOSIS OR DIAGNOSTIC TEST
Are (Is) ______ more accurate in diagnosing _____ compared with ______?
For ___ does the use of ____ reduce the future risk of ___ compared with __?
Does _____ influence ______ in patients who have _______?
How do _____ diagnosed with _____ perceive ___________?
"Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: a guide to best practice" by Bernadette M. Melnyk and Ellen Fineout-Overholt. 2005, page 31.
The Evidence Pyramid
'Critical appraisal is the process of carefully and systematically examining research to judge its trustworthiness, and its value and relevance in a particular context.'(1) It is a systematic framework to assist the researcher to interpret the quality and relevance of research. When you are reading a research article and you want to apply the finding to your patients/clients, you should ask yourself: Are the results presented in this research valid?
Research may be undertaken to answer a wide range of questions and there are several ways to conduct research. However, it is important to note that the methodology chosen is appropriate to answer the research question and that the methodology has been appropriately applied. (2)
Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP) offers critical appraisal skills that help the researcher to read and check health research for trustworthiness, results & relevance (http://www.casp-uk.net).
How to tell whether an article is worth reading:
Criteria for deciding the quality of an article:
Are study results good enough to be generalised: