The Dreaded PICO Question--Feedback, Please!


  • Specializes in Geriatrics, LTC assessments, insurance. Has 23 years experience.

I am having a such a hard time with this. I can't seem to come up with a decent PICO question, and I would really appreciate some constructive criticism and feedback! Thank you in advance for anything you can offer. I worked with a transgendered patient a few months ago, I really started thinking about many things. Here's what I have:

For a patient in a sexual minority, does the availability of culturally sensitive care increase their physical, psychosocial and material well being?

P--population--sexual minorities

I--intervention or variable of interest--culturally sensitive care

C--heterosexual population (have seen on several websites that the "C" does not have to be stated explicitly in the question--is that true?)

O--outcome--physical, psychosocial, and material well being

Do I need to narrow this down further?

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.

Your 'C' is not comparing the two patient groups ('sexual minority' and 'heterosexual') it is comparing two interventions (culturally sensitive care vs. 'standard of care')

And I think you should really not dance around and say 'sexual minority'- just say 'transgendered men' or whatever. Your outcome is also too broad. How in the world would you determine their 'material well-being'? W-2 forms?

A PICO(T) question should be very narrowly defined. Here's an example of one I am currently doing a project on for work:

(P)In newborns undergoing open heart surgery in which open sternum is anticipated post-operatively

(I)how does anti-bacterial bathing immediately pre-operative versus

©standard of care (no pre-operative antibacterial bath)

(O)impact post-operative infection rates at

(T)one month post-op?

I think you have an interesting topic, it just needs some refinement. Good luck with your project!!

nlk96, BSN

23 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, LTC assessments, insurance. Has 23 years experience.

Thank you so much for your feedback! I will work on it some more, taking your suggestions.