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Research skills guide_new

Define - the "searchable" question

Frameworks to assist with developing a "searchable" question

The aim is to develop a "searchable" question to guide your research. A number of frameworks have been developed to assist in this process.  

The PICO - Patient (or Problem)-Intervention-Comparison-Outcome framework is the most well known & widely used.

Other frameworks include:‚Äč

  • PICOT- Patient (or Problem)-Intervention-Comparison-Outcome-Time Frame

  • PICOS- Patient (or Problem)-Interventions-Comparators-Outcomes-Context-Study design

  • EPICOT- Evidence-Population-Intervention-Comparison-Outcome-Timestamp [designed to address research recommendations on the effect of treatment]

  • PECODR-Population-Exposure-Comparison-Outcome-Duration-Results                                       Useful for case control studies and cohort studies. Duration can be used to clarify the length of the follow up period and the Results could be used for Number Needed to Treat or similar

  • SPICE - Setting (context)-Perspective-Intervention-Comparison-Evaluation          Useful for qualitative studies that seek to evaluate a service. Perspective relates to users or potential users. Evaluation is how you plan to measure the success of the intervention

  • ECLIPSE - Expectation-Client group-Location-Impact-Professionals involved-Service       This framework is useful for questions relating to health policy and management issues

  • PESTLE - Political-Economic-Social-Technological-Environmental-Legal                       An analysis tool that can be used by organizations for identifying external factors which may influence their strategic development, marketing strategies, new technologies or organizational change

  • SPIDER - Sample-Phenomenon of Interest-Design (of study)-Evaluation-Research type                   Useful for qualitative or mixed methods research. Phenomenon of interest includes behaviors and/or experiences e.g. compliance


Resources to assist with formulating a "searchable" question

PRESS (Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies) checklist