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


PIPOH is used to frame research questions on the evaluation of practice guidelines. You might sometimes see this framework written as PIPOS. The S is for Setting. It serves the same purpose as the H.

  • How is your population defined? (e.g. age, gender, ethnic group …)
  • Which of their problems, diseases or conditions are you looking at
  • How is the problem, disease or condition being dealt with?
  • Who is involved in providing the intervention?
  • What do you want to achieve or prevent?
Health care setting / context
  • Where is this taking place? (e.g. clinic, hospital, aged care home, ...)


Reference: Mwangi, N., Gachago, M., Gichangi, M., Gichuhi, S., Githeko, K., Jalango, A.,Karimurio, J., Kibachio, J., Muthami, L., Ngugi, N., Nduri, C., Nyaga, P., Nyamori, J., Zindamoyen, A.N.M., Bascaran, C., & Fo, A. (2018). Adapting clinical practice guidelines for diabetic retinopathy in Kenya: process and outputs. Implementation Science, 13, 81. doi: 10.1186/s13012-018-0773-2 opens in a new window