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Shimberg Health Sciences Library & Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange

Evidence Based Practice

Ask an answerable question

The first step in EBP is creating a focused question to answer. Frameworks can be helpful in formulating an answerable question. Different frameworks work better for different questions. While there are many frameworks to choose from, some of the most common are PICO(T), ECLIPSE, and SPIDER. 


PICO- Clinical questions

P- Population/Patient/Problem - What is the population or characteristics?

I- Intervention - What is the intervention, prognostic factor, treatment, etc.?

C- Comparison - What is the comparator, if any?

O- Outcome - What are the expected outcomes, etc.?


How to develop a PICO Question

When using PICO, your question can be developed as:

In P, how does compare to in the affect on O?

children mindfulness therapy no comparison pretest anxiety

Your question could be: 

In children, does mindfulness therapy reduce pretest anxiety?

Other Question Frameworks

PICO is not the best choice for all research questions. Here are a few examples of other question frameworks.


ECLIPSE- Health Policy or Management questions

E- Expectation - Why is the information needed?

C- Client Group - Who needs or will use the information?

L- Location - Where is the service taking place?

I- Impact - What is being evaluated? How will success be measured?

P- Professionals - Who provides the service?

S- Service - What is the service being evaluated?

Research question: How can I increase access to reliable health information to patients with newly diagnosed diabetes?

SPIDER- Qualitative questions

S- Sample- Who is being studied?

PI- Phenomenon of Interest- What reasons drive the behavior or experience?

D- Study Design- How was the study designed and conducted?

E- Evaluation- What is the outcome and how is it measured?

R- Research Type- What type of research is it?

Research Question: What is the experience of teenagers wearing a continuous glucose monitor?


Booth, A., Noyes, J., Flemming, K., Moore, G., Tunçalp, Ö., & Shakibazadeh, E. (2019). Formulating questions to explore complex interventions within qualitative evidence synthesis. BMJ global health4(Suppl 1), e001107.