Population, Intervention, Comparison and Outcomes (PICO)

Paper instructions:
This assignment requires you to reflect on clinical nursing practice to identify a research question from the health theme: older people; and  develop a review

protocol//strategy in relation to the research question.

Background
Details required for this section:
Based upon the health theme you have chosen, state your research question including the Population, Intervention, Comparison and Outcomes (PICO) OR Population, Issue

and Outcomes (PIO).
Explain how your research question is important to patient care, nursing practice, professional knowledge or research.
Word count for this section:  1000 words
Purpose of this section
What should the reader know after reading your Background section?
After reading this section, the reader should know:
exactlywhat your research question is (the actual wording);
what the PICO and PIO are for your research question;
whyyou are doing it (context and background to the topic);
how it is important to patient care, nursing practice, professional knowledge or research; and
what the rest of your paper will cover.

Break up the required components
First, you will need to think about how to break up the required components to use the 1000 words required for this section.  Think about what you can include to

address each component.  The following provides a suggestion and questions to help you think about this further:
Start with some background/context to your topic
before you describe your research question in detail, it may be useful to provide some background and/or context to the topic
start with the overall general health theme as background and then narrow your focus on the specific area related to your research question
your background might have some focus on why this is an important area to research – remember you will need to go into this in greater detail in this section at some

point
State your research question
explain your research question (write the question in full – remember you need to write this as a paragraph so make sure this leads on logically from the background)
Provide a description of PICO for your research question
give specific details of the PICO or PIO for your research question
Explain how your research question is important to patient care, nursing practice, professional knowledge or research
in this part you need to make clear why the topic and your research question are important to nursing. In particular, you are asked to focus on the importance in

relation to patient care, nursing practice, professional knowledge or research
you need to explain why asking your research question and researching it is useful and important in these areas.
Note:  Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you write this part. BUT do not just simply answer them one by one in your introduction – they are just ideas

to guide your thinking and understanding):
Why is this topic important to patient care and nursing practice?
Why do we need to ask and find answers to this research question?
What is missing from current literature that led to (you asking) this question?
How will researching this question improve practice, knowledge and/or research in this area?
Provide an overview of your assignment
this is where you present a brief overview of the structure of your paper (i.e. what the rest of the paper is going to cover)
Methods
Inclusion/exclusion criteria
Details from the assessment instructions:
Develop and describe the inclusion and exclusion criteria relevant to your selected question.
Justify why the inclusion and exclusion criteria you have identified are appropriate (in terms of study design, participants/population, intervention or issue,

outcomes).
Word count for this section:  800 words
Purpose of this section
What should the reader know after reading your Methods section?
After reading this section, the reader should know:
what your inclusion criteria is;
what your exclusion criteria is; and
why these criteria are appropriate for your research question.

Break up the required components
First, you will need to think about how to break up the required components to use the 800 words required for this section.  Think about what you can include to

address each component.  The following provides a suggestion and questions to help you think about this further:
Describe the inclusion and exclusion criteria relevant to your selected question
explain what are your inclusion criteria (what are the things that you used to help you choose what you include)
explain what are your exclusion criteria (what are the things that you used to help you choose what you exclude)
Justify why these criteria are appropriate
explain why the criteria is suitable for guiding your research
why do the criteria suit or relate to your purpose? e.g. why is a particular study design more relevant for your research? why is a particular population the focus of

your research? why is this particular intervention the focus and not another?
why did you exclude certain things? e.g. why did you not include particular types of studies? why did you not include a particular population group?
Search strategy
Details from assessment instructions:
Identify and record 2 electronic databases and explain why these databases are relevant to your research topic/question.
From your research question, identify and record key words that you will use in your search of these 2 electronic databases.
Develop and record a simple search strategy relevant to your research question using the keywords in addition to truncation, abbreviations, wildcards and Boolean

operators.
Implement the search strategy in the two selected databases and identify and list 5 relevant research articles (using UniSA Harvard referencing) that will enable you

to answer your research question.
Word count for this section:  Total 1000 words equivalent
Purpose of this section
What should the reader know after reading your Search strategy section?
After reading this section, the reader should know:
what two databases you chose;
why these two databases are relevant to your research question;
what key words you identified as most relevant;
how you used the key words and truncation, abbreviations, wildcards and Boolean operators to create a search strategy (e.g. what the actual search strategy looks

like);
how you did the search strategy; and
how you found the 5 relevant articles to answer your research question (e.g. what are the articles and why are they relevant to the question).

Break up the required components
First, you will need to think about how to break up the required components to use the 1000 words required for this section.  Think about what you can include to

address each component.  The following provides a suggestion and questions to help you think about this further:
Describe the two databases you chose and explain why these are relevant to your research question
what is your reason for choosing these two databases in particular?
why are they the best choice for your research area? (i.e. why didn’t you choose other databases?)
Explain your key words
give details of the key words that you used from your research question (include synonyms and variations)
Explain how you created the search strategy
give details of what the actual search strategy looks like (write it out in this section)
Explain how you did the search strategy and what articles you chose
give details of how you did the actual search in the databases
discuss the results and how you chose the 5 articles (i.e. why did you choose these particular articles? why are they relevant?)

Assessment #2 – Review protocol/strategy (2800 words)

This assignment requires you to reflect on clinical nursing practice to identify a research question from the health theme: older people; and  develop a review

protocol//strategy in relation to the research question.

Objectives being assessed
•    Explain the relationship between knowledge, research and practice
•    Explain the process of identifying a research question
•    Apply the research process to develop a research protocol/strategy
•    Apply a critical approach to reviewing the literature
Task
•    Develop a research question from  the theme older people
•    Apply the PICO or PIO format to the research question
•    Develop inclusion and exclusion criteria
•    Develop a search strategy to direct a search of relevant electronic health databases to locate specific research articles related to your research question.
•    Implement the search strategy in the two selected electronic databases.
•    Identify and record 5 research articles relevant to your research question.
Health Themes
older people.

Assignment Format

You should present your assignment using the following headings and ensure that you address each point described under each heading.

Background (1000 words)

– Based upon the health theme given, state your research question including the Population, Intervention, Comparison and Outcomes (PICO) OR
Population, Issue and Outcomes (PIO).

– Explain how your research question is important to patient care, nursing practice, professional knowledge or research.

Methods

Inclusion and exclusion criteria (800 words)

– Develop and describe the inclusion and exclusion criteria relevant to your selected question.

– Justify why the inclusion and exclusion criteria you have identified are appropriate (in terms of study design, participants/population, intervention or issue,

outcomes).

Search strategy (Total 1000 words equivalent)

– Identify and record 2 electronic databases and explain why these databases are relevant to your research topic/quesition.

– From your research question, identify and record key words that you will use in your search of these 2 electronic databases.

– Develop and record a simple search strategy relevant to your research question using the keywords in addition to truncation, abbreviations, wildcards and Boolean
operators.

– Implement the search strategy in the two selected databases and identify and list 5 relevant research articles (using UniSA Harvard referencing) that will enable

you to
answer your research question.

Please note that you should use correct referencing using  UniSA Harvard referencing system.

HELP RESOURCE:
Searching databases
You will sometimes hear or see the words platform or provider. These terms refer to the software interface used by the companies that make the databases available.

Some of the platforms currently include: EbscoHost, Ovid and Informit.
Databases may be part of a platform or can be stand alone. For example,
Medline and Embaseare on the Ovid platform.
Ageline, CINAHL, PsychINFO, and ERIC are all on the EbscoHost platform.
Informit is an Australian platform that contains databases such as Health Collection and Health and Society, among others.
Web of Science Core Collection is on the Web of Science platform.

Primary databases
These databases report original research, for example randomised controlled trials (RCTs), or clinical trials. They may contain some systematic reviews (SRs) and

meta-analyses. These are generally very large databases. Some may be discipline specific e.g. Medline, Embase, CINAHL and others are multidisciplinary, for example

Scopus, Web of Science.

Secondary databases
These contain syntheses of original research i.e. they gathers, filters, evaluates and critiques literature from the primary databases. These are smaller databases,

and usually contain reviews, for example systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Choosing a database
There are two ways to find an appropriate database.
One is to look at the Database titles list if you know the name of the database you want to use, for example CINAHL– select letter C and then find the name in the

list.
Alternatively, you can look at the Database subjects list when you don’t know which database to use.  Select a subject heading, for example Nursingand then select a

database from the list.
Some examples are:
discipline specific e.g. MEDLINE
multidisciplinary e.g. Scopus
providefull text journal articles, e.g. ScienceDirect
only give a brief reference and abstract, e.g. Web of Science

Suggested databases for you to use
Medline (discipline specific/all peer reviewed)
Pubmed* (discipline specific – public version of Medline/not all peer reviewed)
Cinahl(discipline specific/not all peer reviewed)
Joanna Briggs Institute* (discipline specific/all peer reviewed)
Cochrane* (discipline specific/all peer reviewed)
Informit Health databases (discipline specific – and contains Australian material not found anywhere else/not all peer reviewed)
Scopus (multidisciplinary/not all peer reviewed)
Web of Science (multidisciplinary/all peer reviewed)

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