NRS 433 Topic 1 DQ 1 

Topic 1 DQ 1 

Apr 4-6, 2022 

PICOT is utilized by the health care community to identify and study a nursing or medical practice problem. Consequently, PICOT examples that may provide insight into the use of the PICOT process, may not be relevant to nursing practice as they are based on a medical practice problem. 

Describe the difference between a nursing practice problem and a medical practice problem. Provide one example of each. Discuss why is it important to ensure your PICOT is based on a nursing practice problem. 

Gale Storm-Bryant 

Posted Date 

Apr 13, 2022, 7:44 PM 


Nurses practice revolves around the nursing process (Toney—Butler, Thayer, 2021). Nurses practice revolves around the improvement of the patient and the care process. It resembles the PICOT in many ways like the intervention/would be the planning process, the comparison/would be the implementation and the outcome /would be the evaluation. PICOT is used to develop the question needed to be researched and answered with evidence (Helbig, 2018) and the nursing process steps provide answers in the evaluation phase. The difference between a nursing or medical practice problem, nurses practice works to improve patient care and medical provides the cause or pathology of the patient. Nurses must practice within their scope of practice (OP, 2010). It is important for nurses to ensure their PICOT is based on nursing care and not a diagnosis. Nursing diagnosis is different from diagnosing a patient’s health issue for treatment as doctors do. Nurses must remain within their scope of practice.  

PICOT question is the first step in evidence-based practice, and many times the question is written poorly. It should not be written in past tense, its used to help search for the best evidence to answer the question (Gallagher Ford, 2019). It has been noted that there is difficulty in finding quality information and at times we lack the skills to evaluate the literature. There is a evidence-based research tool (EBR) which improved the ability of nursing students to find and review articles and correctly apply the PICOT (Long, et al., 2016). 


An example of a nursing PICOT: 

P: Patient – Adults 65 and over with constipation  

I: Intervention – Encourage to exercise 45 min per day 

C: Comparison – Patients who do not exercise 

O: Outcome – Increased bowel movements in a week 

T: Time Frame – 1 month  


An example of a medical PICOT: 

P: Patient – 65-year-old complaining of knee pain 

I: Intervention – MRI 

C: Comparison – MRI of normal knee 

O: Outcome – Diagnosis of Arthritis 

T: Time Frame – 2 weeks 




Gallagher Ford, L., & Melnyk, B. M. (2019). The Underappreciated and Misunderstood PICOT Question: A  

Critical Step in the EBP Process. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 16(6), 422–423. https://doi- 


Helbig, J. (2018). History and Process of Nursing Research, Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, and Quantitative  

and Qualitative Research Process. Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Nursing Research:  

Understanding Methods for Best Practices.  



Long, J. D., Gannaway, P., Ford, C., Doumit, R., Zeeni, N., Sukkarieh, H. O., Milane, A., Byers, B., Harrison,  

L., Hatch, D., Brown, J., Proper, S., White, P., & Song, H. (2016). Effectiveness of a technology‐based  

intervention to teach evidence‐based practice: The EBR tool. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing,  

13(1), 59–65. 


Office of Professions (OP), (2010, June 18th). Education Law. Article 139, Nursing 


Toney-Butler TJ, Thayer JM. [Updated 2021 Jul 9]. Nursing Process. StatPearls [Internet]. 


Wanda Felder 

Posted Date 

Apr 10, 2022, 6:59 PM 


Remember to complete your PICOT, by including each of the elements listed in the image below.  

Tamara Houston 

Posted Date 

Apr 7, 2022, 6:19 AM 

Replies to Gale Storm-Bryant 

PICOT is a method used when developing a quality improvement project or lead to EBP (Helbig, 2018).  It breaks down to five parts Patients/problem, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, and Time which is used to develop a question to hypothesize changes that can be made in nursing or medical practice for patient improvement. Nursing practice problems are problems that occur during routine nursing practice as it relates to the patient’s condition. A medical practice problem is one that occurs with the disease process of a patient involving the medical condition or disease. 

An example of a nursing practice problem would be  

P: Hospital Staff 

I: Hand Sanitizer 

C: Handwashing using soap and water 

O: Minimize the spread of hospital acquired infection 

T:  3 consecutive months 


An example of a medical practice problem would be: 

P: Post op patient 

I: Prophylactic Antibiotic Therapy 

C: Pre-Op & Post Op Antibiotic therapy 

O: Reduction of Surgical Site infection 

T: Three consecutive months 


It is important to ensure a PICOT is based on a nursing practice problem to prevent practicing in the scope of medicine by way of conducting a clinical research study versus an evidence-based practice project. Research questions are posed with the intention of generating new knowledge or verifying that published findings are reproducible (Zuzelo, 2018). Nurses use evidence-based practice to provide patients with safe, quality care and to improve outcomes (Helbig, 2018). The goal is to improve nursing processes that produce safe patient outcomes during nursing care.  


Helbig, J. (2018). History and process of nursing research, evidence-based nursing practice, and quantitative and qualitative research process. Nursing research: Understanding methods for best practice. 


Zuzelo, Patti Rager (2018) Evidence-based practice methodology. Holistic Nursing Practice: Volume 32 (6)- p 340-342 doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000297. Retrieved from 


Gale Storm-Bryant 

replied toTamara Houston 

Apr 7, 2022, 11:35 PM 

  Replies to Tamara Houston 


Your post was very clear, 

Research produces positive and negative outcomes. It does not always produce what the researcher is looking for. When looking at different processes that can be used for research a pilot came to mind, an experiment before going live. One issue that will cause research to have a negative outcome would be inconsistence when not using all parts on all participants (Holt, et al. 2021). You can have positive outcomes as well but how accurate will your research be. Research in healthcare is to improve patient outcomes, provide quality care and patient satisfaction, if our evidence is not consistent, we could cause harm to our patients. Accurate research takes many years and patient consent to participate, time may not always be on our side depending on what the research may be trying to prove or provide information about. A perfect example is the COVID19 vaccine, who did they get to agree to test the vaccine before approving it? (not trying to be controversial – just an example). Research needs an adequate number of participants (Holt, et al. 2021) articles to be substantial. PICOT structure and the nursing process for patients’ outcomes working together may provide the framework for a shorter time for review of results (Wikan, et al. 2020). 



Richard I. G. Holt, Katharine Barnard-Kelly, Giorgos Dritsakis, Kerensa I. Thorne, Lauren Cohen, Elizabeth Dixon, Mayank Patel, Philip Newland-Jones, Helen Partridge, Suvitesh Luthra, Sunil Ohri, Kareem Salhiyyah, Jo Picot, John Niven, Andrew Cook, & on behalf of the OCTOPuS study group. (2021). Developing an intervention to optimize the outcome of cardiac surgery in people with diabetes: the OCTOPuS pilot study. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 7(1), 1–12. 


Wikan Purwihantoro Sudarmaji, Sholihin Sholihin, Roby Aji Permana, Agustina Soares, & Yanuar  

Aga Nugraha. (2020). A Clinical Decision Support System as a Tool to Improve the Accuracy of Nursing Diagnoses. Jurnal Ners, 14(3), 388–392. 



  Natalee Burrell 

replied toTamara Houston 

Apr 8, 2022, 12:33 PM(edited) 

  Replies to Tamara Houston 

Hi Tamara thank you for your informative post 

The PICOT question format is a standardized “formula” for creating researchable and answered questions. When you create a good one, the rest of the process of gathering and analyzing evidence becomes much easier. 

Question for PICOT: 

Population: Bariatric teens who are contemplating or have had gastric bypass surgery. 


Intervention: The nurse’s position as a major component of the multidisciplinary team for bariatric adolescent perioperative care. 


Comparison: The nurse’s function as a secondary member of the multidisciplinary team is limited to perioperative care of the bariatric adolescent patient and requires no specific training. 


Outcome: The bariatric adolescent patient has greater continuity of treatment when the nurse is included as one of the major members of the multidisciplinary team approach. 


Time frame: perioperative to 6 weeks post-surgery. 

PICOT Question: When the nurse is a primary member of the multidisciplinary team, does the bariatric adolescent patient undergoing gastric bypass have better perioperative and postoperative care than when the nurse is a secondary member whose only role is to provide perioperative care and has no specialized training? 



Nursing : Picot questions. Library Research Guides. (n.d.). Retrieved April 8, 2022, from  

  Jana Garcia 

replied toTamara Houston 

Apr 8, 2022, 6:12 PM 

  Replies to Tamara Houston 

HI Tamara,  

In To make your case, start with a PICOT question, the author describes two comparing questions when considering research. I thought it was interesting and very important, so I put it in my notes for future reference. Comparing questions can be viewed as backward and forward thinking. The backward question is the generalization of a topic, common knowledge, or information we might find in a nursing manual. The author explains this common knowledge is a “foundation for the forward question that will provide evidence for clinical decision making, the PICOT” (Echevarria, 2014). I thought this was worth considering because some of us students haven’t been in nursing school for several years, and the “common knowledge” may have changed over time with new EBP. I haven’t been in nursing school for almost two decades. I think it’s important that I review backward questions before I create a PICOT. Current knowledge on the backward question is important in the “outcome” of the PICOT format because the expectation may have changed. Respectfully, Jana  

Echevarria, I. M., & Walker, S. (2014). To make your case, start with a PICOT question. Nursing, 44(2), 18–19. 

  Kerri Zepeda 

replied toTamara Houston 

Apr 9, 2022, 5:12 PM 

  Replies to Tamara Houston 

Thank you Tamara for your post! Yes, when establishing a quality improvement project or leading to EBP, the PICOT approach is used. It is divided into five sections: Patients/Problem, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, and Time, each of which is used to formulate a question to hypothesize improvements that might be made in nursing or medical practice to enhance patient outcomes. To avoid practicing medicine outside of the scope of nursing by undertaking a clinical research study rather than an evidence-based practice project, make sure the PICOT is based on a nursing practice concern. Evidence-based practice (EBP) has been shown in research to produce greater treatment quality, better patient outcomes, lower costs, and more nurse satisfaction than traditional care practices. Nurses have an important role in detecting patient concerns, whether they are at the bedside or taking care of patients in an outpatient setting. Nurses have an important role in preventing and minimizing patient falls in the inpatient setting. In the hospital where I work, and I’m sure in every hospital, there are safety and fall precautions, such as having x3 side rails up on the patient bed, having the bed locked and in the lowest position, and having the call light in reach so the patient can receive help instead of getting out of bed. Nurses do have a great responsibility in ensuring the safety of the patient.  

Helbig, J. (2018). History and Process of Nursing Research, Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, and Quantitative and Qualitative Research Process. Nursing research: Understanding methods for best practice. Retrieved from 

  Dan Zheng 

replied toTamara Houston 

Apr 10, 2022, 12:55 PM 

Replies to Tamara Houston 

Hi, Tamara, 

Good example and clear explanation of the PICOT. Nurses use EBP to provide patients with safe, quality care and to improve outcomes by first developing a PICOT statement that can be associated with either a quality improvement project or lead to EBP (Helbig, 2018). The researcher must gather information through PICOT (problem, intervention, comparison, outcome, and time) to prove why the study should be performed. The nursing practice problem deals with the person’s response to real health problems that the patient is exhibiting or a potential health problem that may arise from the medical diagnosis. While medical problem only gives information about the disease pathology, the nursing problem expresses the impact of the diseases on the patients’ wellbeing and the family. Basing on nursing practice problem ensures that the PICOT includes the best evidence available from previous studies on patient care, and values from experts in the field. 


Helbig, J. (2018). History and process of nursing research, evidence-based nursing practice, and quantitative and qualitative research process. Nursing research: Understanding methods for best practice. 

Kelechi Mbalewe 

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