4 Critical Steps For Facilitating Good Clinical Research

Starting a research project needs someone to take plenty of time to decide what will be the area of interest. Some experts explain that the research quality depends on the research design opted to conduct research. While others elaborate on the significance of research questions on the overall success of a research process. Without argument, both of these have a direct effect on the quality of a research project. But developing researchable questions, especially in clinical research, is among some tasks that students often complain about. Thus, with the action of number of increasing complaints from students, this article will be a step-by-step guide to help them make the researchable questions to conduct good clinical research.

(Note: It will explain the PICO framework for developing clinical research questions in only four critical steps).

PICO Framework – An Overview:

PICO stands for population, intervention, control, and outcome. It is a widely known research strategy for constructing good clinical research questions. It facilitates writing research questions by dividing them into four components so relevant information can be collected more conveniently. Basically, clinicians have to make at least 1-18 questions for taking care of every 10 patients. Clinical research involves many confounding factors due to the close association between different living mechanisms. In this regard, PICO facilities clinicians in developing questions by taking the population, intervention, control, and outcome into consideration. Hereby, the population helps them in gathering demographic information and specifying a particular population along with specific characteristics.

Likewise, intervention describes the treatment, prognostic factors, and medical procedure given to the specific population. Adding control factors in the researchable questions is necessary as it allows the researcher to compare the effectiveness of the treatment with the group that does not receive any treatment. Lastly, the outcomes refer to differences in the medical condition of the control vs. treatment groups. Or in other words, the outcome is the effect of an intervention that we measure in the form of pain relief, reduction in infection rate, or increase in functional abilities of patients. All in all, it tells researchers to make clinical research questions by working separately on all these four components of the PICO framework:

Steps To Use The PICO Framework For Developing Good Clinical Research Questions:

The critical steps for facilitating good clinical research are to select these components one after by other to make a question by linking them together. Though the first step must be to select the area of interest or the disease whose intervention or treatment is under investigation, but the following steps start by selecting the population for a study.  

Select The Population For Your Research:

Every organism has an independent immune response and metabolism; moreover, the rate also varies greatly among different species. So, defining which specie or type of organism will be the subject of the clinical research is necessary. For example, if you want to reduce the time required to recover from a bacterial infection such as clostridium difficile infection, then it’s important to select the population first. That, in this case, will be hospital-admitted patients infected by the same disease.

Decide The Treatment Of A Clinical Situation:

At this step, the main task is to select the drug, therapy, or procedure that seems most appropriate to carry out clinical research. For example, if you are aiming to see the effect of a new antibiotic, namely fidaxomicin, on the recurrence rate of clostridium difficile infection, then it will be considered as an intervention or treatment.

Identify The Control Group (Positive Or Negative):

The Control group is the one that does not receive any treatment or that contains FDA-approved drugs to treat the disease. It gives baseline readings to researchers so that it may be easy to investigate all the confounding factors affecting the end results. In the case of the above example, the control group may comprise patients who whether not at all, receive any treatment with effective drug therapy such as vancomycin.

Conduct Research To Know The Expected Outcome:

In the end, you have to work on predicting what will be the expected outcome of a research. To predict the outcomes of the research, one needs to work on the review of the literature. Literature has answers to most of the research questions. Moreover, for conducting a detailed literature review seeking help from a reliable dissertation writing service is the most suitable option. It will not only help you to conduct a literature review but also will help in conclusion writing.

Final Thoughts:

Finally, for conducting good clinical research, it is important to make the questions researchable. PICO is the most famous framework for making good research questions. Moreover, its four critical steps include the selection of the population, treatment, control group, and finding expected outcomes. Lastly, asking about the possible outcomes by linking the disease with the intervention is the most effective method to make research questions.


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