Posted: December 23rd, 2016

PICOT question – State your question in PICOT format, labeling each part with P-I-C-O-T in parentheses

Research proposal topic: “migraines and stress”


All sources must be current scholarly research articles no older than 5 years.


Criteria and organization of final paper




Part 1 (1 page)

  • Introduction
    • Practice issue
    • Summarize the practice issue in need of change providing background information about the organization (setting) and the perceived significance and severity of the problem
    • Describe the specific aims of the project – what improved outcomes do you hope to achieve
  • PICOT question – State your question in PICOT format, labeling each part with P-I-C-O-T in parentheses
  • Significance – what is the significance of the issue in terms of poor outcomes, cost, etc.



Part 2

  • Evidence review and synthesis
    • List the names of the databases you searched and if limited to a span of time, i.e., less than 5 years old (1 page)
    • Summarize “keeper” studies (4 research article)
    • Summarize the synthesis of the body of evidence
  • For each article include in the narrative: (1 page for each article)
    • Authors’ names, date of publication (included in the citation).
    • Quality and level of evidence
    • How significant (or not) the evidence is and why you think so. How are these articles relevant to change practice or policy for your specific practice site and population? If a study is not significant and you have included it, mention how your clinical expertise was involved in this decision.
    • Your summary the synthesis section should clearly indicate the intervention you plan to use in your project proposal. You will discuss this in greater detail in the next section, but do leave the reader with the understanding of the intervention you chose.




Part 3 (2 pages)

  • Purpose of the project – include intervention
  • Theoretical framework
    • Theoretical framework(s) chosen including a rationale for your choice
  • Clinical questions
    • How the clinical question indicates the type of study that will be done (quasi-experimental vs. experimental). Describe the type of study.


Part 4 (3 pages)

  • Study design
    • Briefly describe the study design indicated by the question (experimental, quasi-experimental, descriptive).
  • Setting/sample
    • Briefly describe the setting for the study, who your study participants will be, and how these participants will be chosen. Will random sampling or a sample of convenience be used?
  • Confidentiality
    • How will you protect the confidentiality of your participants?
  • Procedure/intervention
    • Discuss the intervention you will implement and the procedures you will use in enough detail that others could replicate the study.
  • Instruments/scales and measurement of outcomes
    • Describe the instruments you will use to measure changes and whether they are quantitative, qualitative, or of a mixed design. If they have been tested previously, include reliability and validity data.
  • Data collection: Explain plans for data collection including:
    • Methods of collection, i.e., interviews, paper and pencil testing, etc.
    • Testing frequency. Will you gather baseline data prior to the intervention? Will you employ repeated measures such as pre- and posttests?


Part 5 (3 pages)

  • Data analysis and outcomes
  • State your clinical question.
  • Briefly state the intervention you will implement. While these two items are not typically included in Part 5, doing so will help orient faculty so appropriate feedback can be provided.
  • What outcomes will be analyzed and how they will be analyzed?
  • Describe the statistical analysis you will do relating this to the data collection tools you plan to use.
  • Indicate the types of demographic data you plan to report on your participants as well.
  • Briefly discuss the outcomes expected should this project be implemented (hypothesized).
  • Identify your stakeholders by job title and how their participation was key to the project.
  • Briefly discuss potential barriers to project implementation that stakeholders may present. Include strategies to prevent or address these barriers.



  • Evaluation Table: Using the appropriate Rapid Clinical Appraisal Tools, appraise your “keeper” studies.
  • Synthesis Table:





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