Creating a good PICO question takes some practice.

Here are some expert help suggestions for building a question

Formulating Answerable Clinical Questions - an interactive tutorial from the University of Toronto


More practice with quesions Try your hand at formulating the question and then see what the experts came up with

Question Development Tutorial

Developing a Clinical Question This 5 minute interactive tutorial from BU Medical School takes you through the PICO process. As you enter your question elements, the program records them and then contrasts them with other possibilies. The is an award winning program that has been peer-reviewed by the AAMC MedEd Portal.

Create a PICO Question

  1. Ask
    • Use the PICO formula to create a good question:
      • P=PATIENT – Who is your patient?
      • I=INTERVENTION – Are you looking to diagnose? Treat? Learn about a prognosis?
      • C=COMPARISON – Is there a control? Placebo? A "gold standard"?
      • O=OUTCOME – What do you hope to accomplish? Better/best treatment? Decreased mortality?
    A good PICO might read "In an 86-year old man with coronary artery disease, is aspirin a more effective agent than heparin in reducing risk of stroke?"

Examples of PICO questions

HealthLinks examples of PICO questions from the University of Washington