Table 1.2PICOTS typology for developing research questions

ComponentRelevant Questions
PopulationWhat is the patient population of interest? Are intervention effects expected to be homogeneous or heterogeneous between different subgroups of the population? What subgroups will be considered in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, etc.?
InterventionWhat is the intervention of interest (e.g., a drug, device, procedure, or test)?
ComparatorWhat are the alternatives?
OutcomesWhat are the outcomes and endpoints of interest?
TimingWhat is the time frame of interest for assessing outcomes? Are stakeholders interested in short-term or long-term outcomes?
SettingWhat is the clinical setting of interest (e.g., hospital, private practice, community health center, etc.)?

From: Chapter 1, Study Objectives and Questions

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Developing a Protocol for Observational Comparative Effectiveness Research: A User's Guide.
Velentgas P, Dreyer NA, Nourjah P, et al., editors.
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