In the EBP cycle, your first step is to Ask a clinical question. Asking a well-built clinical question ensures that you're considering and identifying all of the essential elements needed to search for the information. Leading to the second step--Acquire.
PICO is a framework you can use to help you formulate well-built clinical questions. Use PICO to help identify the four main elements of your clinical question:
P = Patient/Population - the who of your question
I = Intervention - the what is being done
C = Comparison - what is the intervention being compared against (another treatment perhaps?)
O = Outcome - which is the preferred result
For (P)_______ how would (I)_______ compared to (C)_______ affect (O)_______?
In the EBP cycle, the second step is Acquire, meaning find the best evidence to help with making a decision about how to treat a patient. Your clinical question and the PICO framework are designed to help you search for the best evidence in the databases.
Watch the video to see an example of the PICO framework and how it can be used for searching.