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NS 388: Nursing Care of the Adult Medical Surgical Patient I: Theory

Resources to help you succeed in research

Steps of Evidence-Based Medicine

  • Formulate a clear clinical question from a patient's problem
  • Search the literature for relevant clinical articles
  • Evaluate the evidence for its validity and usefulness
  • Implement useful findings in clinical practice

(Rosenberg, W. & Donald, A. (1995). Evidence based medicine: An approach to clinical problem-solving. BMJ, 310, 1122-1126).


Use PICOS to develop a clear idea what information you are seeking.

P – Population/Patient/Problem

I  – Intervention

C – Comparison

O – Outcome

S – Setting/Study type

(T) – Time

P:  For what group do you need information?

I:   What medical intervention do you need to study the effect of?

C:  What is the evidence that the intervention produces different results than another intervention or no intervention?

O:  What is the effect of the intervention?

S:  What is the research setting (e.g., ambulatory setting) or type of study (e.g., RCT)?

T:  Is there a timeframe for the outcome?

PICOT Worksheet

The Evidence Pyramid