Capella University Nursing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease PICOT Question

PICO(T) is an acronym that helps researchers and practitioners define aspects of a potential study or investigation.

It stands for:

  • P – Patient/population/problem.
  • I – Intervention.
  • C – Comparison (of potential interventions, typically).
  • O – Outcome(s).
  • T – Time frame (if time frame is relevant).

The end goal of applying PICO(T) is to develop a question that can help guide the search for evidence (Boswell & Cannon, 2015). From this perspective, a PICO(T) question can be a valuable starting point for nurses who are starting to apply an evidence-based model or EBPs. By taking the time to precisely define the areas in which the nurse will be looking for evidence, searches become more efficient and effective. Essentially, by precisely defining the types of evidence within specific areas, the nurse will be more likely to discover relevant and useful evidence during their search.As a baccalaureate-prepared nurse, you will be responsible for locating and identifying credible and scholarly resources to incorporate the best available evidence for the purposes of enhancing clinical reasoning and judgement skills. When reliable and relevant evidence-based findings are utilized, patients, health care systems, and nursing practice outcomes are positively impacted.

PICO(T) is a framework that can help you structure your definition of the issue ( COPD) , potential approach that you are going to use, and your predictions related to the issue. Word choice is important in the PICO(T) process because different word choices for similar concepts will lead you toward different existing evidence and research studies that would help inform the development of your initial question. Are smokers, with a long history of smoking, at higher risk of developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease than non-smokers? ( this is the question from where the PICOT needs to be developed from)

Your initial goal is to define the population, intervention, comparison, and outcome. In some cases, a time frame is relevant and you should include that as well, when writing a question you can research related to your issue of interest. After you define your question, research it, and organize your initial findings, select the two sources of evidence that seem the most relevant to your question and analyze them in more depth. Specifically, interpret each source’s specific findings and best practices related to your issues, as well explain how the evidence would help you plan and make decisions related to your question.

If you need some structure to organize your initial thoughts and research, the PICOT Question and Research Template document (accessible from the “Create PICO(T) Questions” page in the Capella library’s Evidence Based Practice guide) might be helpful.

In your submission, make sure you address the following grading criteria:

  • Define a practice issue to be explored via a PICO(T) approach.
  • Identify sources of evidence that could be potentially effective in answering a PICO(T) question.
  • Explain the findings from articles or other sources of evidence.
  • Explain the relevance of the findings from chosen sources of evidence to making decision related to a PICO(T) question.
  • Communicate using writing that is clear, logical, and professional with correct grammar and spelling using the current APA style.

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