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Nursing Research (NURS 3321/4325/5366)

Form a Keyword Search Strategy Using PICO

Example PICO Question: 

Do type 2 diabetics (P) get better glycemic control (O) with exercise as the primary treatment (I) than those who get drug therapy as a primary treatment (C)?

Follow these steps to form your search strategy:

  1. Identify key terms from your PICO.  These terms become the foundation of your search.
    1. (P) type 2 diabetes
    2. (I) exercise
    3. (C) drug therapy
    4. (O) glycemic control
  2. Brainstorm and list the main topics and alternative keywords (synonyms) from each part of your PICO that can be used for your search.  For many terms, there will be more than 3 synonyms.
  3. List the synonyms next to each other and place OR in between your terms.
    1. (P) type 2 diabetes OR type 2 diabetes mellitus OR t2dm OR t2d OR niddm OR non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
    2. (I) exercise OR physical activity OR fitness OR aerobic training OR strength training OR cardiovascular training OR workout OR active OR movement 
    3. (C) drug therapy OR drug intervention OR pharmacologic therapy OR pharmacologic intervention
    4. (O) glycemic control OR hba1c OR blood sugar OR blood glucose