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For additional information on question formation, check out the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine's site. The Center is a partner with Oxford University and "aims to develop, teach and promote evidence-based health care through conferences, workshops and EBM tools so that all health care professionals can maintain the highest standards of medicine."

To formulate your research question...

State your information need as an answerable, well constructed question rather than a question that prompts a "yes" or "no" response. A clinical question should incorporate at least three elements and it is often referred to by the acronym PICO:

Patient - describe the patient as a member of a population group e.g. age, sex, ethnicity, condition, etc.

Intervention - e.g. patient education, treatment, self-care.

Comparison/Intervention - e.g. What is the main alternative to compare with the intervention? For example, do you need to decide between two therapeutic treatments?

expected Outcome - keep in mind what is the anticipated effect of the intervention on the patient.