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Physical Therapy - Dallas

Physical therapy research guide for TWU Dallas students, faculty, and staff.


To get the best answers you must ask the right questions! In healthcare, this often means using the PICO(t) acronym to form your research question.


  • Characteristics like age, gender, ethnicity
  • Health issues like diabetes or access to healthcare


  • Prescription, surgery, manual therapy, policy
  • Setting or geography


  • Second intervention or no intervention


  • Lower blood glucose levels or BMI
  • Timing

Type of Studies

  • Type of questions
  • Type of studies
  • Optional

Creating Your PICO(t) Question

PICO(t) can be used to answer a variety of different types of questions.

Question Type: Intervention or therapy

Used to determine which treatment leads to the best outcome.

PICO(t) Template:
  • (P) In _____
  • (I) How does _____
  • (C) Compared with _____
  • (O) Affect _____
  • (t) Within _____

Question Type: Etiology

Used to determine the greatest risk factors or causes of a condition.

PICO(t) Template:
  • (P) Are _____
  • (I) Who have _____
  • (C) Compared with those without _____
  • (O) At _____ risk for _____
  • (t) Over _____

Question Type: Diagnosis or diagnostic test

Used to determine which test is more accurate and precise in diagnosing a condition.

PICO(t) Template:
  • (P) In _____
  • (I) Are/is _____
  • (C) Compared with _____
  • (O) More accurate in diagnosing _____

Question Type: Prognosis or prediction

Used to determine the clinical course over time and likely complications of a condition.

PICO(t) Template:
  • (P) In _____
  • (I) How does _____
  • (C) Compared with _____
  • (O) Influence _____
  • (t) Over _____

Question Type: Meaning

Used to determine the meaning of an experience for a particular individual group or community.

PICO(t) Template:
  • (P) How do _____
  • (I) With _____
  • (C) Perceive _____
  • (O) During _____