Research Guides

Evidence-Based Medicine

Welcome to the [Title] Guide
The goals of this guide are to:
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This guide is intended for medical students and other health professionals interested in Evidence-Based Medicine resources and information.
Related Guides
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Subject Guide Editor

Layal Hneiny

Contact Us
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Louis Calder Memorial Library
Department of Learning, Research, and Clinical Information Services
Types of Clinical Questions

Etiology: how to identify causes for disease (including its iatrogenic forms).

Diagnosis: how to select and interpret diagnostic tests, in order to confirm or exclude a diagnosis, based on considering their precision, accuracy, acceptability, expense, safety, etc.

Prognosis: how to estimate our patientâs likely clinical course over time and anticipate likely complications of the disorder.

Therapy: how to select treatments to offer our patients that do more good than harm and that are worth the efforts and costs of using them.

Prevention: how to reduce the chance of disease by identifying and modifying risk factors and how to diagnose disease early by screening.


FROM: User's Guides to the Medical Literature: essentials of evidence-based clinical practice G. Guyatt et al (eds) New York, 2008.

Ask a Searchable Clinical Question

PICO is a useful tool for asking focused clinical questions.


PICO clarifies the question, determines search concepts and type of study that is most appropriate to answer the question type.


P.I.C.O. Model for Clinical Questions



Patient, Population, or Problem

How would I describe a group of patients?


Intervention, Prognostic Factor, or Exposure

Which main intervention, prognostic factor,
or exposure am I considering?


Comparison or Intervention (if appropriate)

What is the main alternative to compare
with the intervention?


Outcome you would like to measure or achieve

What can I hope to accomplish, measure,
improve, or affect?


What type of question are you asking?

Diagnosis, Etiology/Harm, Therapy, Prognosis,


Type of study you want to find

What would be the best study design?


Evidence Pyramid


Study Design
Levels of Evidence
Selecting the Resources

Evidence-based practice requires that clinicians search the literature to find answers to their clinical questions. There are literally millions of published reports, journal articles, conference proceedings, and research studies available to clinicians. Choosing the best resource to search is an important decision.

Electronic Textbooks and Libraries
Pre-Appraised Resources
Meta-Search Engines
Calder Library Video Training Sessions


How to Construct a Well-Built Clinical Question (PICO)

Learn from this live Calder Library Training Session the basics of contructing the PICO question.