Formulating a researchable question: A critical step for facilitating good clinical research

Indian J Sex Transm Dis AIDS. 2010 Jan;31(1):47-50. doi: 10.4103/0253-7184.69003.


Developing a researchable question is one of the challenging tasks a researcher encounters when initiating a project. Both, unanswered issues in current clinical practice or when experiences dictate alternative therapies may provoke an investigator to formulate a clinical research question. This article will assist researchers by providing step-by-step guidance on the formulation of a research question. This paper also describes PICO (population, intervention, control, and outcomes) criteria in framing a research question. Finally, we also assess the characteristics of a research question in the context of initiating a research project.

Keywords: Clinical research project; PICO format; research question.