If you are required to choose a research question, try to pick a topic that interests you.
You need to have a broad understanding of your topic or research question to help you search for information and write your assignment. Consider the following before you start searching for information:
Have you been told to use "PICO"?
The PICO framework can be useful for developing an answerable clinical question. For example:
Is a paleo diet more effective than a Mediterranean diet for weight reduction in obese adults?
|P||Population OR Patient OR Problem
What are the characteristics of the patient or population? OR
What is the condition or disease you are interested in?
|I/E||Intervention OR Exposure
What do you want to do with the patient (e.g. treat, diagnose, observe etc.)?
|C||Comparison OR Comparator
What is the alternative to the treatment (e.g.placebo, different drug, surgery)?
What is the relevant outcome (e.g. morbidity, complications)?
Use the interactive PICO worksheet to get started with your question, or you can download the worksheet document.
Here are some different frameworks you may want to use:
|PICO(T)||Population (patient), Intervention, Comparison (control) and Outcome. Add a Timeframe if required. Used particularly for treatment type questions.|
|PECO(T)||A variation of PICO where E= Exposure and T=Timeframe if required.|
|PIPOH||Developed in the context of practice guideline adaptation. Includes P= Professionals/Patients, O= Outcome and H= Healthcare Setting.|
|SPICE||S= Setting (where), P= Perspective (for whom), I= Intervention (what), C= Comparison (compared with what), E= Evaluation (Booth 2006).|
|SPIDER||S= Sample, P= Phenomenon of interest, D= Design, E= Evaluation, R= Research type. Useful for qualitative or mixed method studies (Cooke, Smith and Booth 2012).|
|ECLIPSE||E= Expectations, C= Client group, L= Location, I= Impact, P= Profession, SE= Service (Wildridge & Bell 2002).|
|PESTLE||P= Political, E= Economic, S= Social, T= Technological, E= Environmental, L= Legal (CIPD 2010).|
There are a number of PICO variations which can be used for different types of questions, such as qualitative, and background and foreground questions. Visit the EBP Guide to learn more.