Framing your research question

Question frameworks are used to help you turn your research question into the searches you will need for databases and search engines


PerSPECTiF is used for clinical question about the effectiveness of interventions.

  • Whose perspective are you interested in?
  • How are you defining this population?
  • Where is your phenomenon of interest or problem taking place? (geographical location or service location)
Phenomenon of interest / Problem
  • Which situation, issue, event, or activity are you investigating?
  • Which aspects of your setting are relevant in defining the environment your population is experiencing the phenomenon in? (Staffing, transport, facilities, access to services, ...)
  • Which situation, issue, event, or activity are you comparing your problem or phenomenon of interest with? (It’s ok to leave this one blank if you are not doing a comparison)
Time / Timing
  • What is the duration of the problem or phenomenon you are observing?
  • Which of your population's perceptions and experiences are you focusing on?
  • How are you measuring these?


Reference: Booth, A., Noyes, J., Flemming, K., Moore, G., Tunçalp, Ö., & Shakibazadeh, E. (2019). Formulating questions to explore complex interventions within qualitative evidence synthesis. BMJ Global Health, 4(Suppl 1), 5-10. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001107 opens in a new window