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DNP: Doctor of Nursing Practice

Evidence Based Practice / PICOT

Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) or Evidence-Based Practice (EBP, or EBNP for nursing practice) is "the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values." Sackett, D. L. (2000). Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach EBM(2nd ed.). Edinburgh; New York: Churchill Livingstone.

For additional information about EBP, see:

To formulate questions in Evidence Based Practice, use the PICOT format.

PICOT stands for:

  • Population/ Patient Problem: Who is your patient? (Disease or Health status, age, race, sex)
  • Intervention: What do you plan to do for the patient? (Specific tests, therapies, medications)
  • Comparison: What is the alternative to your plan? (ie. No treatment, different type of treatment, etc.)
  • Outcome: What outcome do you seek? (Less symptoms, no symptoms, full health, etc.)
  • Time:  What is the time frame? (This element is not always included.)

Your PICOT question will fall under one of these types:

  • Therapy
  • Diagnosis
  • Etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Intervention
  • Meaning

See the video tutorials below on this page for information about how to conduct a PICOT search at the Franklin University Library and how to formulate your PICOT question.

The following health/nursing databases have filters which will help you formulate your PICOT search:

Videos: Conducting a PICOT Search

What's a Primary Source?

In nursing, the focus of a primary source is on original research from one research study.  A primary source in nursing is an article written by the researcher(s) who performed the research experiment and includes original research data. Secondary sources are ones that summarize or compare primary research articles in a particular area, such as a Systematic Review.  A primary research article contains the following:

  • Introduction: Research question which defines the aim of the research
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion/Conclusions
  • References

For example, this citation shows a primary source article: 

This article, though on a similar topic, is not a primary source even though it still looks very formal and official. Instead, it's an overview of previous research studies, without providing any new research. 

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