INTRODUCTION OF A METHOD OF STRUCTURING RESEARCH QUESTIONS FOR UNDERGRADUATES OF DEGREE IN HEALTH SCIENCES

M. Molina-Alarcón1, M.C. Ruiz-Grao1, M. García-Moreno2, F. García-Sevilla2, M.L. Amo Saus2, M.D. Masiá Mondejar2, M. López-Molina3, R. Varón2

1Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Facultad de Enfermería (SPAIN)
2Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Escuela Superior de Ingenieros Industriales (SPAIN)
3Instituto Educación Secundaria (SPAIN)
Background:
The Bologna Declaration of 1999 established a system of qualifications, whose first level is the degree studies, which consist of between 180-240 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) and whose curricula must contain the Final Project of Degree (FPD).
The FPD can follow different methodology: professional projects, research projects, literature reviews and other. In the development of the FPD deserves special interest to have knowledge about conducting the literature search, and it is particularly significant know how to structure research questions.
The method PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparison, "Outcome" or outcome) is used as a method to assist in the structuring of research questions in life sciences based on evidence. This is an aid, which facilitates the correct approach to research questions for the literature search related to your FPD. Also, it is essential that students acquire this knowledge along their learning in the different courses of degree.
Therefore, it is interesting the fact of inform students of Degree in Nursing, through a workshop of literature search, about the bases of PICO method. And its potential relationship as facilitator in the correct structuring of research questions.

Objective:
This study examines whether the training of students of Degree in understanding the PICO format facilitates the correct identification of the key elements of a research question on a topic of interest. And it helps the correct structuring of research questions.

Method:
Observational, descriptive, cross-sectional study, where the target population consists of 109 first-year undergraduates of the subject of Statistics, of which 57 undergraduates voluntarily participated in the activity about literature search where the PICO method is introduced to structure research questions in health sciences.
The understanding of the method was evaluated by including a scoring question in the examination of this subject about structuring research questions by this method.

Results:
The existence of statistical association was observed between having received training on the PICO method and having answered the question asked in the examination of the Statistic subject correctly (p<0.05).
Finally, 55 undergraduates (57.9%) were trained in PICO method. In addition, 38.9% of all participants (n=95) who had received prior training, correctly answered the examination question about structuring research questions by PICO, compared to 8.4% who had not received prior training and did so correctly.

Conclusions:
The use of the PICO method to structure the research question could be useful for the correct identification of the key elements of the question. This would facilitate the correct approach to the literature search for the development of the FPD and other kind of research works.