PICO stands for:
It is a framework for research questions that helps you focus your research into distinguishable categories.
Research is often conducted to answer a question. The research question must be well formulated to provide focus on a topic that is being investigated effectively. Any search in a database requires analysis of the research question.
Typing the entire research question into a database search bar is not the way databases are designed to be searched. This is because the database utilizes fields and their data values for searching. For each concept, the user must find subject headings and generate keywords that are representative of the concepts.
What are the primary concepts in the research question? Consider what group(s) you will be discussing in your research. Think about what the treatment(s), therapies, intervention(s), or program(s) to be examined. Examine the various factors to be investigated that relate to those treatments/therapies/interventions/programs for the selected population. This process reflects the formulation of the research question itself.
Are anti-smoking campaigns effective interventions for e-cigarette use among high school students?
Over the next few pages you will find out how to search for subject headings and generate keywords for each highlighted concept. The next step is to put your subject headings and keywords together with Boolean operators, which you will use to combine concepts together.