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The PICO model helps you create searchable clinical questions before you start looking at the research literature. 

PICO elements

NOTE:  You may not have all the PICO pieces depending on your type of question

PICO Example - Therapy

Scenario: You have a female patient who has recently been diagnosed with Lupus (SLE). Her rheumatologist suggested she start on Plaquenil for her joint pain, but she is interested in alternative therapies because she heard about success a neighbor had with turmeric tea.

P - patients with SLE (Lupus)

I - turmeric tea

C - Plaquenil (standard drug therapy)

O - reduction of joint pain

Research Question: In adult patients with SLE, is consuming turmeric tea more effective than Plaquenil at reducing joint pain?

PICO Example - Diagnostic Test

Scenario: Your patient has a history of blood clots and after they came in to your clinic with right calf discomfort and tightness, you're concerned about DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). You remember reading about the limitations of duplex ultrasound and calf veins, and are wondering if a d-dimer assay can help you rule out DVT more accurately. 

P - adults

I - d-dimer assay

C - ultrasound

O - more accurate diagnosis of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis).

Research Question: Is d‚Äźdimer assay more accurate at ruling out deep vein thrombosis compared to ultrasound?