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Evidence-Based Medicine: Steps 1-3

1. Ask

Developing a Clinical Question

The PICO(T) Framework is highly recommended for developing clinical questions.  PICO(T) is a mnemonic outlining the information essential for finding strong evidence.    

The PICO(T) Framework 

P Patient or Problem Who is the patient or what is the problem?  





What intervention will be investigated?  

What potentially harmful factors will be investigated?  

C *Comparator What alternative is being investigated? 
O Outcome What outcome is desired? 
(T) **Timeframe How long to achieve the outcome OR length of time


*This element is often the standard, or no, intervention, so may not be necessary to include..

**This element is optional. It could include the length of time since diagnosis, to outcome, or the follow-up time

2a. Acquire

Finding Evidence

Primary (Non-appraised)
Secondary (Pre-appraised)

2b. Acquire

Finding Evidence Cont.

Federated Searches

The federated, open-source search engines linked here are designed to let clinicands search all categories (preappraised & non-appraised) of resources.

3. Appraise

Appraising Evidence

When secondary literature is not available for a topic, primary literature must be identified and critically appraised by the clinician.  The appraisal process evaluates a study's research methods and determines whether its results can be trusted.  The tools linked here are designed too help clinicians systematically evaluate primary sources.  

Worksheets and Checklists


Statistical Calculators


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