The PICO model helps you create an answerable question from a clinical scenario by identifying search terms & their relationships so that you can conduct an effective literature search.
P = patient/population/problem
Who is the patient? What are the significant characteristics (age, gender, dental problem)?
I = Intervention
What will you do: educate the patient, provide a dental device, drug?
C = Comparison
Is there a comparison to the intervention? Optional.
O = Outcome
What do you want to achieve: Improve oral health, reduce symptoms, improve patient compliance?
Based on the clinical scenario above:
- P = bad breath, male, adult
- I = toothbrushing
- C = doing nothing
- O = reduction in bad breath
Not all of these terms will be used directly in the search, but it's good to be aware of all potential search terms.