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1. Clinical queries.

Questions should be both framed and analysed using the P I C O formula.

Patient population/ clinical problem

    • Who is the question about?
    • What is the clinical problem?

Intervention (study factor) /exposures

    • What is being done to the patient?
    • Is an exposure the cause of a problem?

Outcome

  • What outcomes are you interested in?

Example questions

How accurate is mammographic screening in diagnosing breast cancer in obese women?

  • Question type: Diagnosis.

    Patient (population/disease): In obese women...

    Intervention(Exposure)/Comparison:... is mammography...

    Outcome: ...an accurate tool for diagnosing breast cancer?

    “In obese women is mammography an accurate tool for diagnosing breast cancer?”

Does the survival of women with breast cancer differ when a total mastectomy is performed as opposed to a lumpectomy?

  • Question type: Therapy.

    Patient (population/disease): In patients with breast cancer...

    Intervention (Exposure)/ Comparison: ...does total masectomy versus lumpectomy...

    Outcome: have a more positive effect on survival rates.

    “In patients with breast cancer does total masectomy versus lumpectomy have a more positive effect on survival rates.”

Is there any evidence that smoking increases the risk of breast cancer in women?

  • Question type: Aetiology.

    Patient (population/disease): Is there evidence that women...

    Intervention(Exposure)/Comparison: ...who smoke versus non- smokers...

    Outcome: ...are more likely to develop breast cancer.

    “Is there evidence that women who smoke versus non- smokers are more likely to develop breast cancer?”

What is the prognosis for obese women diagnosed with breast cancer?

  • Question type: Prognosis.

    Patient (population/ disease): In patients diagnosed with breast cancer do obese women compared those of a normal weight...

    Outcome: ...have a better or worse prognosis in terms of survival

    “In patients diagnosed with breast cancer do obese women complared those of a normal weight have a better or worse prognosis in terms of survival?”