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Nursing Resources

PICO Searching

Search MEDLINE/PubMed via PICO with Spelling Checker

Search MEDLINE/PubMed via PICO with Spelling Checker

This search allows you to run a PubMed search using the PICO to formulate the search strategy

The Tabs above will show you how to search and how to obtain the articles found.

The PICO model will help you to construct your "foreground" clinical questions.

  • P stands for patient/population/problem or condition
  • I is the relevant intervention, exposure ot test that you want to use in relation to the patient/population or problem
  • C is the comparative (alternative) intervention, exposure or test, if there is one
  • O represents the outcome, or what you are most concerned about happening
    • Positive Outcomes: Prevention of illness or improvement in health
    • Negative Outcomes: Side effects/Adverse effects

Note: It is not always necessary to include all  four facets (components) in your PICO search statement, especially if you can find suitable MeSH terms to use in your search. Sometimes your search will yield too few results if your search strategy is too specific.

However, you should minimally include P and I to begin with when searching under Clinical Queries in PubMed.


PICO Searching PowerPoint

Obtaining the Articles


It is very important that you understand how to obtain articles found in the PICO search.  The PICO search form from PubMed is NOT linked into La Salle Library's holdings.  However you can easily find out our holdings as well as link to Interlibrary Loan if we do not have the article by copying and pasting the PubMed ID number into the database version which is linked into our library:

PubMed (La Salle Library Links)

See more about using PubMed at Connelly Library here

The tabs above on this LibGuide will show you how to cut and paste the PubMed number to obtain the articles.


HOWEVER!  If you download LibKey Nomad you will be automatically linked to the Library holdings without having to follow the instructions above!  If you have LibKey Nomad installed on your computer it will make finding article much easier!  We URGE you to download the LibKey Nomad App

PICO Flyer

This flyer (from CINAHL) explains the PICO process