Formulating Questions for Evidence-Based Practice (SPICE Framework)

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

Journal article


This framework offers a step-by-step approach to formulating practice questions for finding evidence in existing research. SPICE builds upon the PICO acronym (Population, Intervention, Comparison and Outcomes) in two ways. First, the population component is separated into two components: setting and perspective. Second, “outcomes” is replaced with “evaluation” in order to encourage a broader evaluation framework and incorporate concepts such as “outputs” and “impact” together.

Steps for Using Method/Tool

The framework guides users through five components:

  1. Setting – where?
  2. Perspective – for whom?
  3. Intervention – what?
  4. Comparison – compared with what?
  5. Evaluation – with what result?

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

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