PICO provides a route to structure a search strategy
Comparison Outcome Intervention Patient
PICO in Action Ibuprofen Junifen Comparison Fever Reduction Paracetamol Calpol Child Children Infant Outcome Intervention Patient
PICO to NHS Evidence/Google Search Brackets represent columns (child OR children OR infant) (paracetemol OR calpol) (ibuprofen OR junifen) (“fever reduction” OR “reduced fever”) Ibuprofen Junifen Comparison Fever Reduction Reduced Fever Paracetamol Calpol Child Children Infant Outcome Intervention Patient
OR OR is used to expand a search. Useful for ensuring maximum retrieval allowing you to combine alternative terms describing the same concept. fish OR chips brings back items with either fish or chips present.
AND AND is used to narrow a search by combining searches so that all elements must be present in a record. fish AND chips brings back records with both fish and chips present.
NOT NOT is a way of excluding a concept. Chips NOT fish excludes any items where fish is included as a concept. Be wary when you use not you may exclude useful items of value that mention the concept you are excluding in passing.