It is important you have a clear, well-formed, focused question.
Benefits of doing this include:
Watch the following video:
How you frame your question is critical.
Dr. Saravana Kumar, Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy, UniSA, explains the different question types, and the body of evidence required for each (3:44):
These ask for general knowledge about a condition or disease. They are:
How effective is dry needling for treating myofascial pain?
These ask for specific knowledge to inform clinical decisions or action. They use a structured framework, such as: PICO(T), or PECO(T). Some examples:
Does pole dancing improve aerobic fitness in middle aged adults?
In older adults with knee osteoarthritis are NSAIDS more effective than exercise in reducing pain?
Is a paleo diet more effective than a Mediterranean diet for weight reduction in obese adults?
What is the evidence for the effectiveness of self management of diabetes?
The PICO framework is useful for developing an answerable clinical question. For example:
Use the PICO worksheet to get started with your question. If you are using another framework, adapt it.
Watch the following video (created by the Centre of Evidence-Based Practice, Oxford University) to see PICO mapping in practice. Some additional videos are also linked to below.
You do not have to have a comparator when using PICO. For example:
What is the evidence for the effectiveness of self management of Diabetes Mellitus Type II?
You can use PICO for an diagnosis question. For example:
In adults with lateral ankle sprains, how useful are x-rays in confirming the diagnosis?
If your research question is qualitative you may need to focus gathering of research which describes a particular phenomenon or topic of interest. You can adapt people in the following way:
P=Population, I=Interest area, Co=Context. Useful for qualitative questions.
Qualitative example: What are women's experiences with bullying in the workplace?
Here are some different frameworks you may want to use:
If the quiz set does not show, click the <> Embed button and close the window.
Before you finalise your question, check if:
Start with some preliminary (scope-out) searches. This will help you develop, focus and refine your question.
Search the following places for existing systematic reviews: