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Planning your review

Page history last edited by Andrew Booth 5 years, 7 months ago

Name and/or description of the framework

Theoretical background

Example of use in a systematic review

Planning the review and formulating the review question

PaPaS guidance for preparing Cochrane reviews in pain, palliative and supportive care

Moore RA, AUREF 2012, PaPaS author and referee guidance http://papas.cochrane.org/papas-documents

Moore RA, Derry S, Aldington D, Cole P, Wiffen PJ. Amitriptyline for neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010 , Issue 1 . Art. No.: CD008242. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008242


Moore RA, Wiffen PJ, Derry S, McQuay HJ. Gabapentin for chronic neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011 , Issue 3 . Art. No.: CD007938. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007938.pub2


A rationale for formulating systematic review questions of complex interventions

Squires JE, Valentine JC, Grimshaw JM. Systematic reviews of complex interventions: framing the review question. Journal of clinical epidemiology 2013 66:11; 1230-1243


Variations on the PICO tool:

PICOS (Patient, Intervention, Comparison, Outcomes, Study types)

PECO (patient, exposure, comparison, outcomes, context)


Davies, K. S. (2011). Formulating the evidence based practice question: a review of the frameworks. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice,6(2), 75-80.


PICOC (patient, intervention, comparison, outcome) Petticrew, M & Roberts H. Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences: A Practical Guide, Blackwell Publishing, 2005,ISBN 1405121106  

Alternatives to the PICO tool:

SPIDER (sample, phenomenon of interest, design, evaluation, research type) (For qualitative research)

Cooke ASmith DBooth A.Beyond PICO: the SPIDER tool for qualitative evidence synthesis. Qual Health Res. 2012 Oct;22(10):1435-43. doi: 10.1177/1049732312452938. Epub 2012 Jul 24. 


Methley AM, Campbell S, Chew-Graham C, McNally R, Cheraghi-Sohi S. PICO, PICOS and SPIDER: a comparison study of specificity and sensitivity in three search tools for qualitative systematic reviews. BMC Health Serv Res. 2014 Nov

21;14(1):579. [Epub ahead of print]
SPICE (setting, perspective, intervention, comparison, evaluation) (For qualitative research) Booth A. Formulating answerable questions. In: Booth A, Brice A, editors. Evidence-based practice for information professionals: a handbookLondon: Facet Publishing; 2004. p. 61-70.


Booth A. (2006). Clear and present questions: Formulating questions for evidence based practice.Library Hi Tech, 24(3), 355-368. doi:10.1108/07378830610692127  

Malpass, A., Shaw, A., Sharp, D., Walter, F., Feder, G., Ridd, M., & Kessler, D. (2009). “Medication career” or “Moral career”? The two sides of managing antidepressants: A meta-ethnography of patients' experience of antidepressants. Social science & medicine68(1), 154-168.


Lewis, S. A., Noyes, J., & Mackereth, S. (2010). Knowledge and information needs of young people with epilepsy and their parents: Mixed-method systematic review. BMC pediatrics10(1), 103.

ProPheT (problem, phenomenon, time) (For qualitative research) Sutton A. Defining the scope. In: Booth A, Papaioannou A, Sutton A, eds. Systematic Approaches to a Successful Literature Review; 2011. London: Sage; 2011. Bailey, C., Jones, D., & Goodall, D. (2014). What is the evidence of the experience of having a fall across the life course? A qualitative synthesis. Disability and Health Journal.
ECLIPSE (Expectation, Client group, Location, Impact, Professionals, ServicE) (For health management topics) ECLIPSE: A mnemonic to assist in searching for health policy/ management information. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 19, 113-115.

CIMO (Context, Intervention, Mechanism, Outcome) (For management questions/realist synthesis)


Denyer D, Tranfield D, & Van Aken JE (2008). Developing design propositions through research synthesis. Organization Studies, 29(3), 393-413. doi:10.1177/0170840607088020



FAME (Feasibility Appropriateness Meaningfulness Effectiveness)

Pearson, A., Wiechula, R., & Lockwood, C. (2007). A re-consideration of what constitutes “evidence” in the healthcare professions. Nursing Science Quarterly20(1), 85-88. 


Stern, C., Jordan, Z., & McArthur, A. (2014). Developing the Review Question and Inclusion Criteria. AJN The American Journal of Nursing114(4), 53-56.

Basu, J., McInerney, P., Stewart, A., & Myers, G. (2011). Choosing to have an illegal abortion in southern Africa: a comprehensive systematic review of the qualitative and text and opinion evidence. The JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports9(48 Suppl), S364-S374.

SAMPLE - Elements of a Good Research Question:

To determine whether you have a good research

question, ask yourself:

• – Is it Specific?

• – Is it Answerable?

• – Are there Measurable constructs?

• – Is it Practical? Is it relevant for policy/practice?

• – Is it Logical? Is it based on theory/logic model?

• – Is it Empirical? Can answers be attained using

observable evidence?

Valentine, J.C. (2011). Problem Formulation. Campbell Collaboration Colloquium. George Mason University.




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