USF Shimberg Health Sciences Library

Systematic Reviews

Develop the Question

A well-defined research question helps identify the concepts to search to answer your question.  

  • Clearly state the objectives of the review (what question are you trying to answer?)
  • Ask yourself if you've considered the FINER components:
    • Feasibility: Is the question answerable? Is it doable?
    • Interesting: Is  your question interesting to others besides yourself?  Does it fill a meaningful gap in the literature?
    • Novel: Is your question novel? New? Looking at a different population?
    • Ethical: Is it ethical?
    • Relevant: Is it relevant or practical for policy and/or /practice?

Search Frameworks - Search frameworks help you create a research question by suggesting elements you to consider. Not all questions are suited for a single framework. Several of the more common frameworks are found below.

PICO

  • Population/Patient/Problem - What is the population or characteristics?
  • Intervention - What is the intervention, prognostic factor, treatment, etc.?
  • Comparison - What is the comparator, if any?
  • Outcome - What are the expected outcomes, improvements, measures, etc?

       May also include one or more of the following:

  • Time - Is there a specific time-frame involved?
  • Type of Question - Diagnosis, Therapy, Etiology/Harm/Prevention, Prognosis
  • Type of Study - Prospective, Retrospective, Cohort, Case-Control, Randomized Controlled Trial, etc.

PISCO

  • Population/Patient/Problem - What is the population or characteristics?
  • Intervention - What is the intervention, prognostic factor, treatment, etc.
  • Setting (if appropriate) - Hospital, Outpatient, School, Rural
  • Comparison or intervention (if appropriate) - What are you comparing the intervention with?
  • Outcome  - What is the outcome you want to measure or achieve

SPICE

  • Setting - What is the setting/context? Where?
  • Population/Perspective - Who are the users, potential users, stakeholders of the particular service? For whom?
  • Intervention - What is being done? 
  • Comparison - What else has been tried?
  • Evaluation - What measurement will be used to determine the success?  What is the result?

ECLIPSE

  • Expectation - Why is the information needed?
  • Client Group - Who needs, or will use, the information?
  • Location - Where is the service taking place?
  • Impact - What is being evaluated? How will success be measured?
  • Professionals - Who provides the service?
  • Service - What is the service being evaluated?

Unable to locate the requested Account (#5701).