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Physical Therapy: 3. PICO: Your Research Strategy

Use this guide as a starting point for your research in the area of physical therapy as well as topics in general health, physiology and kinesiology.


1. Use the "PICO" acronym to create a research question:


Example: Are virtual reality programs an effective, alternative tool for rehabilitation of stroke victims?

  example of concepts:  
P =      patient/problem  (primary problem, characteristics of the patient)    stroke patients  
I =      intervention you are considering (drug, surgery, counseling treatment plan…etc.)

virtual reality (VR)

physical therapy

C =    comparison (alternative to intervention, there may not always be a comparison) non-VR (or no comparison)  
O =   outcomes (what you hope to accomplish, measure, prove…etc.)

therapeutic effectiveness




2. Search article databases using some of the concepts you generated from the PICO acronym above