Search Concept Tools
PICO and other tools for developing research questions and search concepts
A variety of tools are listed that can be used to formulate your research question and identify possible search concepts for your literature search. As a rule of thumb pick the 2-4 concepts which are most simple to search for.*
1. CLIP Health service management questions
C Client at whom is the service aimed?
L Location where is the service sited?
I Improvement what do you want to find out?
P Professional who is involved in providing/improving the service?
2. CMO or CIMO - Realist Synthesis questions
3. ECLIPS(E) Health service management questions
E Expectationwhat does the search requester want the information for (the original Is)?
C Client Group.
I Impactwhat is the change in the service, if any, which is being looked for? What would constitute success? How is this being measured?
S Servicefor which service are you looking for information? For example, outpatient services, nurse-led clinics, intermediate care.
4. MIP Medical ethics questions
M Methodology e.g. in-depth interviews or questionnaires
I Issues e.g. Healthcare Rationing or end-of-life decision-making
P Participants e.g. physicians or patients
5. PICO Reviews of interventions for health
P Patient or population
Nb add S on end if study type is significant, a C if context is significant or 'T' for timeframe
6. SPICE Social science questions (designed for librarian research questions)
S Setting Where? In what context?
P Perspective For who?
I Intervention (Phenomenon of Interest) What?
C Comparison What else?
E Evaluation How well? What result?
7. SPIDER Qualitative evidence synthesis
P I Phenomenon of interest
R Research type
*With thanks to Linda Mace-Michalik (The Library, Roseberry Park Hospital, TEWV NHS FT) for distributing her compilation of alternatives to the PICO framework.
AUHE Information Specialists
AUHE Finding Randomised Controlled Trials the BIG list of databases
AUHE Systematic Review Guides