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What actually is PICO?
In evidence-based nursing, PICO stands for –
P – Patient problem
I – Intervention
C – Comparison or control
O – Outcome
Why the PICO framework is used?
In nursing practice, you always need some evidence to take a decision. It is somewhat like the court, you cannot pass judgement without solid evidence. That is why when you get any question in nursing, you need to search and collect all the relevant evidence. But make no mistake because this is a long, tiring and time-consuming process. This makes the process very difficult.
That is why when you have an assignment question related to evidence-based nursing, you should use the PICO framework which is specially prepared for the evidence-based nursing practice.
What does each element in the PICO framework signify?
Let us discuss all the components of PICO one by one –
When you decide to diagnose the problem of the patient, you need all the information about the patient so that you can take the correct decision. This information can be –
- The age of the patient
- The gender of the patient
- The ethnicity of the patient
- What is the problem he/she is suffering from
- What is the problem type, is it acute or chronic
As the name suggests, the intervention part will suggest the intervention techniques that should be adopted in order to make the patient’s health better.
The intervention can vary depending on the type of diagnosis and health issue of the patient. They can be –
Comparison or control
When you have identified what the patient is suffering from and have laid out what you need to do so that the patient becomes better, you need to check if your intervention method is good or not.
Here, you need to decide if there is any comparison treatment that you should compare yours against. You can compare your treatment with –
- Another medication
- Another treatment like meditation and exercise
The name says outcome, that means you need to check if the result obtained from your intervention is expected or not. For example, if the expected outcome of your intervention was supposed to be relief from pain, you need to check if the treatment gave that outcome or not.
Here, you need to think about the –
- Result that you want the treatment to show
- Effects that you do not want to see
- Any side effects that were not accounted for before
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