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Physical Therapy Research Guide

Designed to promote resources used by the DPT program.

What is Evidence Based Practice?

This video from Steely Library at Northern Kentucky University defines and provides examples of evidence-based practice. (CC-BY-NC 4.0)

Where to Find Evidence-Based Medicine

PICO

Formulating a strong clinical question is the first step in the research process.  PICO is a way of building clinical research questions that allow you to focus your research, and to create a query that better matches most medical databases.

  • Patient – Describe your patient or population.  What are the most important characteristics?  Include information on age, race, gender, medical conditions, etc.
  • Intervention – What is the main intervention or therapy you are considering? The can be as general as treat or observe, or as specific as a specific test or therapy.
  • Comparison Intervention – An alternative intervention or therapy you wish to compare to the first.
  • Outcome – What are you trying to do for the patient?  What is the clinical outcome?  What are the relevant outcomes?

Example: In a (describe patient) can (intervention A) affect (outcome) compared with (intervention B)?

  • In a 50 year old man with diabetes is weight loss and exercise or medication better at maintaining healthy blood sugar levels?
    • Patient - 50 yr old man with diabetes
    • Intervention - weight loss and exercise
    • Comparison - medication
    • Outcome - maintaining blood sugar levels