Getting started: Using PICO

One useful guideline in developing research questions for medical topics is the PICO framework:

P - I - C - O

P - population or problem
I - intervention
C - comparison (if any)
O - outcome

Example Question:

Systemic steroids, such as prednisone, slow bone growth. Children with chronic asthma are often prescribed inhaled steroids or corticosteroids. Do these drugs have any impact on growth before adolescence?

Example question in the PICO framework:

Population: preadolescents with asthma
Intervention: inhaled corticosteroids
Comparison: treatment without corticosteroids
Outcome: growth at predicted rate

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