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


PESICO is used for questions about rehabilitation therapies.

Person (and problem)
  • What are the defining characteristics of your person of interest? (e.g. age, gender, ethnic group)
  • What have they been diagnosed with?
  • What is their risk profile?
  • In which locations and situations does your person experience the issue they have been diagnosed with?
  • Does the severity or impact vary between situations, or from location to location?
  • Which aspects of these locations and situations are significant to the issue?
  • Your person
  • Who else will be involved in making decisions about this issue? 
  • Who else will be involved in helping to cope with this issue?
  • What are you planning to do in response to the issue? (This is not limited to intervention or treatment. It could be another action such as diagnostic evaluation.)
  • Which alternative treatment or diagnostic procedure are you going to compare your intervention with? (It's ok to leave this blank if you are not doing a comparison.)
  • What are you hoping to achieve or avoid with your intervention or its alternative?


Reference: Schlosser, R. W., & O'Neil-Pirozzi, T. (2006). Problem formulation in evidence-based practice and systematic reviews. Contemporary Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders, 33, 5-10. doi: 10.1044/cicsd_33_S_5 opens in a new window