Course Project Overview:PICOT Question

In the ischemic stroke patient, what are the barriers to the administration of thrombolytic therapy within 3 hours of presentation to the emergency department when the last seen normal is within 2 hours?

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P= barrier to administration


I= administration of t-PA


C= vs. not receiving thrombolytic


O= administration of thrombolytic


T= within 3 hours of Emergency room presentation when the last seen normal is within 2 hours.






Evidence-based practice involves a great deal more than simply reading nursing periodicals on a regular basis. Nurses can take a more proactive approach to evidence-based practice by identifying authentic problems and concerns, and then using that to guide their inquiries into current research. In this way, nurses can connect the results of relevant research studies to their nursing practice.




For the Course Project, you identify and apply relevant research to a specific nursing topic or problem. You begin by formulating an answerable question that is relevant to nursing and evidence-based practice. In later weeks of this course, you continue the course project by conducting a literature review and then determining how the evidence from the literature can be applied to nursing practice.




Before you begin, review this document, which contains information about all three parts of the Course Project.




The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references




Course Project: Part 1–Identifying a Researchable Problem




One of the most challenging aspects of EBP is to actually identify the answerable question.
—Karen Sue Davies






Formulating a question that targets the goal of your research is a challenging but essential task. The question plays a crucial role in all other aspects of the research, including the determination of the research design and theoretical perspective to be applied, which data will be collected, and which tools will be used for analysis. It is therefore essential to take the time to ensure that the research question addresses what you actually want to study. Doing so will increase the likelihood of obtaining meaningful results.




In this first component of the course project, you formulate questions to address a particular nursing issue or problem. You use the PICOT model—patient/population, intervention/issue, comparison, and outcome—outlined in the weekly Learning Resources to design your questions.




To prepare:




  • Review the article, “Formulating the Evidence Based Practice Question: A Review of the Frameworks,” found in the Learning Resources for Week 2. Focus on the PICOT model for guiding the development of research questions.




  • Review the section beginning on page of the course text, 75 titled, “Developing and Refining Research Problems” in the course text, which focuses on analyzing the feasibility of a research problem.


  • Reflect on an issue or problem that you have noticed in your nursing practice. Consider the significance of this issue or problem.
  • Generate at least 5 questions that relate to the issue that you have identified. Use the criteria in your course text to select one question that would be most appropriate in terms of significance, feasibility, and interest. Be prepared to explain your rationale.
  • Formulate a preliminary PICOT question—one that is answerable—based on your analysis. What are the PICOT variables (patient/population, intervention/issue, comparison, and outcome) for this question? Note: Not all of these variables may be appropriate to every question. Be sure to analyze which are and are not relevant to your specific question.
  • Using the PICOT variables that you determined for your question, develop a list of at least 10 keywords that could be used when conducting a literature search to investigate current research pertaining to the question.


To complete:


Write a 3- to 4-page paper that includes the following:


  • A summary of your area of interest, an identification of the problem that you have selected, and an explanation of the significance of this problem for nursing practice
  • The 5 questions that you have generated, and a description of how you analyzed them for feasibility  
  • Your preliminary PICOT question and a description of each PICOT variable relevant to your question  
  • At least 10 possible keywords that could be used when conducting a literature search for your PICOT question and a rationale for your selections




Davies, K. S. (2011). Formulating the evidence based practice question: A review of the frameworks. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 6(2), 75–80. Retrieved from

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