Describe the use of a PICO in Evidence-based practice (EBP).

Describe the use of a PICO in Evidence-based practice (EBP).

1. Describe the use of a PICO in Evidence-based practice (EBP).
2. Using the acronym PICO, describe potential components for your literature review (Postpartum depression warning signs) you will do when you are searching for an intervention to address your clinical problem. The P, I, C, O will be search terms used in your search! PICO EBP Essay
3. Describe your (Postpartum depression) problem (post as it relates to patient outcomes (e.g. rates of infection can lead to mortality, further illness, increased LOS, increased readmission).
An Example of the Use of the PICO (Problem, Intervention, Comparison, & Outcome) Statement in the Search for Nursing Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Solutions



A befitting clinical question that can be researched to produce evidence is often written using the mnemonic PICO. It makes the literature search for the evidence-based answer to the clinical question easier by enabling formulation of exact search terms. PICO therefore represents the four essential parts of the clinical practice question that must be answered by searching for evidence (University of Missouri, 2019). PICO EBP Essay

PICO for Postpartum Depression Warning Signs

In this particular clinical question the topic is Postpartum Depression, while the subtopic for the search is Prevention (University of Missouri, 2019). In this case, the potential components of the clinical question as written using PICO will include the patient description, the intervention, the comparison with the intervention, and the outcome of the intervention. Therefore in this case the patient or problem will be new mothers with diagnosed postpartum depression (PPD), the intervention will be cognitive behavior therapy or CBT, the comparison will be interpersonal therapy or IPT (Werner et al., 2015), and the outcome will be early warning signs of PPD. It follows that the search terms will be “postpartum depression prevention,” “CBT in PPD,” “IPT in PPD,” and “warning signs of PPD.” PICO EBP Essay.

The Postpartum Depression Prevention PICO Statement

From the above analysis, the postpartum depression evidence search PICO statement will thus be: “For mothers diagnosed with postpartum depression or PPD (P), does the application of cognitive behavior therapy or CBT (I) reduce later risk of early warning signs like irritability and insomnia (O) compared with interpersonal therapy or IPT?” (Mayo Clinic, 2018) PICO EBP Essay.


Mayo Clinic (2018). Postpartum depression. Retrieved 7 September 2019 from

University of Missouri (2019, June 4). Evidence based nursing practice. Retrieved on 6 July 2019 from

Werner, E., Miller, M., Osborne, L.M., Kuzava, S. & Monk, C. (2015). Preventing postpartum depression: Review and recommendations. Archives of Women’s’ Mental Health, 18(1), 41-60. Doi: 10.1007/s00737-014-0475-y PICO EBP Essay

bottom of post
Scroll to Top