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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 611-616

Formulating a good research question: Pearls and pitfalls

Guys' and St Thomas' Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Wilson Fandino
Anaesthesia Department, St Thomas' Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, London SE1 7EH
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ija.IJA_198_19

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The process of formulating a good research question can be challenging and frustrating. While a comprehensive literature review is compulsory, the researcher usually encounters methodological difficulties in the conduct of the study, particularly if the primary study question has not been adequately selected in accordance with the clinical dilemma that needs to be addressed. Therefore, optimising time and resources before embarking in the design of a clinical protocol can make an impact on the final results of the research project. Researchers have developed effective ways to convey the message of how to build a good research question that can be easily recalled under the acronyms of PICOT (population, intervention, comparator, outcome, and time frame) and FINER (feasible, interesting, novel, ethical, and relevant). In line with these concepts, this article highlights the main issues faced by clinicians, when developing a research question.

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