Embase’s Intuitive PICO Search Tool

Translating your PICO statement into a database-ready search strategy is easier than ever with the new Embase PICO search tool.

PICO (Patient, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome) is the widely accepted question framework used in Evidence-Based Medicine/Practice to help clinicians diagram clinical scenarios into clinical questions. Generally, when implementing a PICO question in a database like PubMed or Embase the user would have to build a search phrase like the one shown below:

(pregnancy) AND (multivitamin) AND (autism OR autistic)

While the PICO search shown above is fairly straightforward, a basic understanding of Boolean operators and nesting is required. Alternatively, and much like the Embase drug search tool, the PICO tool integrates complex search functions into an intuitive guided format separating each PICO concept into its own separate search phrase. 

Embase PICO search tool screenshot

The Embase PICO search tool takes the guesswork out of creating a sensitive search by adding synonyms to search blocks and automatically nesting them within parentheses. 

Embase PICO search tool screenshot

This tool is especially useful for clinicians who practice EBM daily and is also helpful for students who are learning the basics of EBM / EBP. Try out the Embase PICO search tool today, and for more tips on using Embase, attend a quick training session offered by Becker librarians. For any other questions about using Embase, EBM tools or clinical resources, contact Becker Library at (314) 362-7080 or askbecker@wustl.edu.