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Sociology 146 (Polonijo)

Social Determinants of Health

Research Frameworks



How to use PICO to refine your research question from the Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries (1:43).

As you consider the scope of your research, think about how you will define these concepts:

  • Population / Problem: who are you screening? Why?
  • Intervention: what are you evaluating? e.g., a treatment, an intervention, etc.
  • Comparison: are you comparing this group to another group, e.g. a placebo group?
  • Outcome: what are the outcomes? Is there a specific one you are looking at?

PICO Variations

  • PEO: Exposure
  • PICOT: Timeframe 
  • PICOTS: Timeframe, Setting
  • PICOS: Study Design, e.g. cohorts or randomized controlled trials.

(From Lackey, M. (2013). Systematic reviews: Searching the literature [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

In adults, is screening for depression and feedback of results to providers more effective than no screening and feedback in improving outcomes of major depression in primary care settings?

  • Population / Problem: adults / depression (major)
  • Intervention: screening, feedback
  • Comparison: income levels
  • Outcome: no particular outcomes specified

(From Lackey, M. (2013). Systematic reviews: Searching the literature [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

Concepts & Search Terms

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