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Exercise Science

Writing Research Questions

In the health sciences, one model to write research questions is PICO.  In this model, the letter "P" represents the population, patient, or problem.  The letter "I" represents the intervention.  The letter "C" stands for the comparison variable.  Lastly, the letter "O" represents the outcome.  


In older adults, does resistance training improve memory?

P (Population): older adults

I (Intervention): resistance training

C (Comparison): not specified

O (Outcome): improved memory

Building a Search Strategy

After you write your question, try to identify the main concepts.  Brainstorm alternate keywords for each concept.  The are three frequently used terms to connect your keywords: AND, OR, and NOT.

Connectors Example Results
AND older adults AND resistance training AND memory Results will contain each term.
OR older adults OR geriatrics OR aged OR elderly Results will contain either term.
NOT  seniors NOT high school Results will eliminate a term.