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Nursing Research

Guide for locating library and open access web-based resources for Practical Nurse and B.S.N courses, especially research courses.

PICO Clinical Questions for EBP

PICO is an acronym to assist in remembering the key components of a clinical question. 

  • Patient
  • Intervention
  • Comparison
  • Outcome

Additional letters may be added for Timeframe, Type of study, Setting (PICOT, PICOS, PICOTS, PICOTTS)

EBP: Searching for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses

  Searching for a Systematic Review or Meta-analysis in the CINAHL Nursing database:

  1. Go to CINAHL and use Basic or Advanced Search
  2. Add your search terms and scroll down to check the boxes for full-text and peer-reviewed
  3. Add the dates for the last 5 years (example: 2017 - 2022)
  4. Scroll down farther to a box on the left titled "Publication Type" and scroll inside the box. 
  5. Click on Meta-analysis or Systematic Review to limit what you find to articles that are the highest level of evidence.


Cochrane is adding PICO details to new reviews, and is beta-testing a PICO search tab on Advanced search.