Asking clinical questions
Ask valid clinical questions using the PICO framework
Background questions are asked to obtain pertinent knowledge about a given disease state, diagnostic test, or treatment regimen. These types of questions are more focused towards learning general information regarding the etiology, prognosis, and diagnosis of various disease states and physiological phenomena.
Background questions have two components:
1. A question root (who, what, where, when, how, why) and a verb
2. A disease state, diagnostic test, treatment, or medicine
Ask foreground clinical questions using PICO
Foreground questions follow the PICO framework for subsequent components:
1. P - Patient, population, problem
2. I - Intervention, exposure, test, or agent
3. C - Comparison intervention, control group
4. O - Outcome that is clinically relevant
Where do clinical questions come from?
1. Clinical findings yielded from patient examinations and tests
2. Identifying the potential etiology and risk of disease states
3. Diagnosis of a patient's clinical issues
4. Applying and interpreting the results of diagnostic tests
5. Understanding the progression and prognosis associated with a disease
6. Choosing the best treatments for patients
7. Preventing disease by identifying risk factors and preemptive screening for certain prevalent disease states
8. Providing patients with relevant information regarding their clinical issues
9. Continuing to learn and grow as a clinician by applying newest, evidence-based, and appropriate tests and interventions
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