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Physician Assistant: Evidence Based Research (PICO)

Evidence Based Medicine

Scroll down the page to reach this article.

EBM is "the conscientious use of current best evidence in making clinical decisions about patient care". This original definition is attributed to this article by Sackett, et al.

Step One: Ask a Clinical Question

Using the PICO format can be instructive!

Patient Population
Comparison Intervention

Types of Questions: Etiology, Diagnostic, Prevention, Prognosis/Prediction, Therapy, Qualitative

Prevention Example:
For patients with systolic heart failure (P) do exercise programs (I) reduce the future risk of hospital admission due to heart failure (O) compared with patients without exercise programs (C)?
Therapy Example:
In patients with chronic wounds (P) what is the effect of topical negative pressure (TNP) (I) on promoting healing (O) compared with traditional moisturized gauze (C) dressing?

PICO Continued

Etiology: Are ____(P), who have ____ (I) at ____(increased/decreased)risk for/of_____(O) compared with____(P) with/without_____(C)?

Diagnostic: Are(Is)____(I) done on _____(P)more accurate in diagnosis of _____(O)compared to ______(C)?

Qualitative: How do ____ (P), perceive the  ____ (I) on ____ (O) compared to _____ (C)?

Prognosis/Prediction: Does ____ (I) influence ____ (O) in patients who have ____ (P)?

TRIP Database PICO Wizard:
You may find this helpful.  Click on the PICO Search button for help building a PICO question.

Steps Two through Five

Step Two: Acquire the most relevant, most current, best evidence. See Evidence Hierarchy

Step Three: Appraise the evidence.

Step Four: Apply all evidence with clincial experience, patient preferences and values in making a practice decision or change.

Step FiveAccess the practice decision or change.

What is Evidence Based Practice?

EBP is a method of effectively translating EBM into clinical practice using the best existing: evidence and research, knowledge of clinical experts, and patient preferences.

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