PICOT refers to the acronym for those elements that make up a clinical question. The elements are patient population (p), intervention (I), comparison intervention (c), outcome (O), and time (T) (Burns & Grove, 2011). The clinical issue under investigation in this case is whether or not using Influenza vaccine influences the risk of the contracting pneumonia during the flu season among persons who are aged 65 and above. There is a great interrelation between pneumonia and influenza. Research has shown that influenza is the major cause of pneumonia infections especially among the elderly persons aged 65 and above. To help reduce the incidence of the two infections, people are encouraged to receive influenza vaccines annually.
PICOT Statement for the area of Interest
The PICOT question being assessed by the nurse in this case is “In patients aged 65 and older, how does the use of an influenza vaccine, compared to not receiving the vaccine, influence their risk of developing pneumonia during the flu season?” It is clear that all the components of clinical questions are all present. The components are discussed below.
The population is patients aged 65 and above. The center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established that persons who are 65 and older are more susceptible to influenza compared to the younger and more energetic population. The situation results from the fact that their immune system is weakened. According to the CDC, in the United States 90 percent of the mortality rates, that are seasonal flu related, occur among this group of individuals. Around 50- 60 percent of hospitalization cases that are seasonal flue related also occur among members of this population (Echevarria & Walker, 2014). Pneumonia is one of the flu related infections causing high morbidity and mortality rate in the population.
Use of an influenza vaccine is the intervention (Melnyk & Overholt, 2011). The vaccine should be administered annually to the population. Use of the influenza vaccine protects the population against flu even during the flu season by boosting their immunity against the health condition. Such persons are, therefore, at a lower risk of contracting pneumonia. The vaccine should be administered again in the next one year.
Not receiving the influenza vaccine is the comparison intervention (Melnyk & Overholt, 2011). It occurs in two forms. One can either fail to use the influenza vaccine throughout or delay the vaccination process beyond the one-year limit. Not receiving the influenza vaccination predisposes one to flu, especially during the flu season. Flu, on the other hand, predisposes one to pneumonia.
Influence on the risk of developing pneumonia is the outcome (Melnyk & Overholt, 2011). Vaccinated 65 year olds have a lower likelihood of suffering from pneumonia compared to the unvaccinated.
The flu season is the time taken to achieve the outcomes (Melnyk & Overholt, 2011). In this case, the outcomes of the intervention (I) and the comparison intervention (C) can only be well determined during the flu season. At the time, persons aged 65 and above have higher chances of contracting flu due to their weak immunity. Vaccinated individuals are less likely to contract pneumonia compared to those who are not vaccinated.
PICOT represents the elements that constitute a clinical question (Burns & Grove, 2011). It also provides a format to be used in the ordering of the elements in the clinical question. In this case, the PICOT question posed by the nurse is “In patients aged 65 and older, how does the use of an influenza vaccine compared to not receiving the vaccine influence their risk of developing pneumonia during the flu season?”
Burns, N., & Grove, S. (2011). Understanding nursing research: Building an evidence based practice (5th ed.). Maryland Heights, MO: Elservier.
Echevarria, I. M., & Walker, S. (2014). To make your case, start with a PICOT question. Nursing, 44(2), 18-19.
Melnyk, B. M., & Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: a guide to best practice (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, CP: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.