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Evidence Based Practice: Step 1: Types of questions

Identifying the type of clinical question that you're answering is a crucial part of the Evidence-Based Practice process. Determining the type of clinical question will influence how you structure your PICO framework, the databases you use, and how you search them to find the most appropriate level of evidence. 

The most common types of clinical questions are:

  • Frequency: how common a problem is, or how often it occurs
  • Aetiology: the relationship between an exposure or causal factor and a patient developing a condition
  • Diagnosis: the validity and reliability of a diagnostic test or screening method
  • Therapy: the most beneficial treatment or prevention for a condition (intervention could be drug therapy, surgery, physical therapy, etc.)
  • Prognosis: the likely disease progression for patients with or without treatment




Step 2: Use PICO to
structure the question