PICOT is an acronym that helps us to form a good evidence-based research question.
Example: In adults with knee osteoarthritis, is water exercise (versus no water exercise) effective in improving pain symptoms in 8 weeks?
In patients with...
Example: adults with knee osteoarthritis
is/does the use of...
Example: water exercise
when compared to... (may be standard treatment or no treatment)
Example: no water exercise
effective in controlling...
cause adverse effect...
Example: improved pain
In a specified time period... time it takes for the intervention to achieve an outcome, or how long participants are observed.
Example: with 8 weeks of treatment
Newhouse, R.P., Dearholt, S.L., Poe, S.S., Pugh, L.C., & White, K.M. (2007). Johns Hopkins nursing evidence-based practice model and guidelines. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International.
The Evidence Pyramid is an easy way to visualize levels of evidence for types of research articles. At the base is animal research and expert opinion. These are still important, but are low in the evidence-based hierarchy.
The next step up, from case reports to randomized control trials, is unfiltered evidence. These are individual reports and studies, also known as the primary literature.
At the top of the pyramid, representing the strongest evidence, is filtered evidence. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are literature reviews that analyze multiple research studies. Clinical Practice Guidelines can be added to this list of secondary literature.
When doing evidence-based research, seek the highest level of evidence available. Just remember that the top levels may not be available for your particular clinical question. In that case, seek the next level down!
A primary source in science is a document or record that reports on a study, experiment, trial or research project. Primary sources are usually written by the person(s) who did the research, conducted the study, or ran the experiment, and include hypothesis, methodology, and results.
Primary Sources include:
Secondary sources list, summarize, compare, and evaluate primary information and studies so as to draw conclusions on or present current state of knowledge in a discipline or subject. Sources may include a bibliography which may direct you back to the primary research reported in the article.
Secondary Sources include:
Evidence based practice (EBP) is the conscientious use of current best evidence in making decisions about patient care (Sackett, Straus, Richardson, Rosenberg, & Haynes, 2000).
What is a case study? What is a cohort study? And what about a randomized controlled trial?