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Writing for Exercise Science

EXP Mapping

Evidence Based Medicine

Using PICOT to Format Your Research Question

Patient or Problem - Describe the most important characteristics of the patient

Intervention - What main intervention are you considering for the patient?

Comparison - What is the main alternative being considered?

Outcome - What are you trying to accomplish, measure or improve for the patient?

Time - Time describes the duration for your data collection

 Type of question:

  • Therapy
  • Diagnosis
  • Harm
  • Prognosis


PICOT Question Templates

For an intervention/therapy:

In _______(P), what is the effect of _______(I) on ______(O) compared with _______(C) within ________ (T)?

For etiology:

Are ____ (P) who have _______ (I) at ___ (Increased/decreased) risk for/of_______ (O) compared with ______ (P) with/without ______ (C) over _____ (T)?

Diagnosis or diagnostic test:

Are (is) _________ (I) more accurate in diagnosing ________ (P) compared with ______ (C) for _______ (O)?


For ________ (P) does the use of ______ (I) reduce the future risk of ________ (O) compared with _________ (C)?


Does __________ (I) influence ________ (O) in patients who have _______ (P) over ______ (T)?


How do ________ (P) diagnosed with _______ (I) perceive ______ (O) during _____ (T)?


Melnyk B., & Fineout-Overholt E. (2010). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.