What is your research question? An introduction to the PICOT format for clinicians


Clinicians interested in research pursuits, related to patient care, should consider the use of a literature search and the PICOT format when engaging clinical researchers. This approach will provide clinicians and researchers an initial basis for mutual understanding, communication and direction to help answer clinical study questions of most relevance.

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    ABSTRACT: In patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) fluid therapy might be necessary. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to determine the effects of colloid therapy compared to crystalloids on mortality and oxygenation in adults with ARDS. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) identified through a systematic literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL and LILACS. Article published up to 15th February 2013 were independently screened, abstracted, and assessed (Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool) to provide evidence-based therapy recommendations. RCTs were eligible if they compared colloid versus crystalloid therapy on lung function, inflammation, damage or mortality in adults with ARDS. Primary outcome parameters were respiratory mechanics, gas exchange lung inflammation and damage as well as hospital mortality. Kidney function, need for renal replacement therapy, hemodynamic stabilization and intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay served as secondary outcomes. A total of 3 RCTs out of 4130 potential trials found in the databases were selected for qualitative and quantitative analysis totaling 206 patients who received either albumin or saline. Overall risk of bias was unclear to high in the identified trials. Calculated pooled risk of death was not statistically significant (albumin 34 of 100 (34.0%) versus 40 of 104 (38.5%), relative risk (RR) = 0.89, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.62 to 1.28, P = 0.539). Weighted mean difference (WMD) in PaO2/FiO2 [mmHg] improved in the first 48 hours (WMD = 62, 95% CI 47 to 77, P <0.001, I2 = 0%) after therapy start and remained stable after 7 days (WMD = 20, 95% CI 4 to 36, P = 0.017, I2 = 0%). There is a high need for RCTs investigating the effects of colloids in ARDS patients. Based on the findings of this review, colloid therapy with albumin improved oxygenation but did not affect mortality.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Critical care (London, England)
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    ABSTRACT: Persons with serious mental illness (SMI) have high rates of premature mortality from preventable medical conditions, but this group is underrepresented in epidemiologic surveys and we lack national estimates of the prevalence of conditions such as obesity and diabetes in this group. We performed a comprehensive review to synthesize estimates of the prevalence of 15 medical conditions among the population with SMI. We reviewed studies published in the peer-reviewed literature from January 2000 to August 2012. Studies were included if they assessed prevalence in a sample of 100 or more United States (US) adults with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. A total of 57 studies were included in the review. For most medical conditions, the prevalence estimates varied considerably. For example, estimates of obesity prevalence ranged from 26% to 55%. This variation appeared to be due to differences in measurement (e.g., self-report versus clinical measures) and underlying differences in study populations. Few studies assessed prevalence in representative, community samples of persons with SMI. In many studies, the prevalence of medical conditions among the population with SMI was higher than among the overall US population. Screening for and monitoring of these conditions should be common practice in clinical settings serving persons with SMI. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · General hospital psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence-based practice is key to improving patient outcomes but can be challenging for busy nurse practitioners to implement. This article describes the process of critically appraising evidence for use in clinical practice and offers strategies for implementing evidence-based innovations and disseminating the findings.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · The Nurse practitioner
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