Formulating a PICOT Question

Formulating a PICOT Question

A significant portion of healthcare professionals such as registered nurses are experience varying levels of stress associated with the burnout in their work settings. Numerous causes and risk factors have been cited to significantly contribute to the occurrence of nurse burnout as a key clinical nursing problem affecting a majority of healthcare environments and providers. Stemley (2022) established that heavy workloads due to the overwhelming and excessive pressures in the nursing field contributed to the stressful work environments that demand a good deal of emotional, physical, spiritual and mental strength. Oducado (2021) established that chronic work-related stress among nurses and other healthcare personnel can contribute to reduced productivity, lower morale, and long shifts, reduced job satisfaction, and decreased quality in patient care and safety, high turnover rates, and higher risk of medical errors. Considering the growing cases of nursing burnout, there is the need for evidence-based interventions to mitigate or reduce nursing burnout levels experienced by those at risk for burnout in different workplace environments (Maresca et al., 2022). This short paper will examine the chronic burnout problem as a pertinent clinical issue, and reviews relevant literature on the connection between the problem and the PICOT question.

PICOT Formulation and Problem Description


The following PICOT question is proposed: Among nursing practitioners (P), will the utilization of burnout coping mechanisms (I) compared to quitting the profession (C) lead to a reduction in work-related stress levels (0) within 6 months (T)?

Evidence-based Solution


The proposed evidence-based solution is aimed at addressing nursing burnout as a key issue behind increased patient safety concerns, lower healthcare quality and other adverse events. Aryankhesal et al. (2019) established that the provision of training on stress coping strategies can become a viable means of equipping nurses and physicians with relevant skills, knowledge and experience to cope with burnout, heavy workloads and other work-related stress. Garcia et al. (2019) identified some of the stress management interventions that can be implemented to reduce burnout levels among nurses and they include stress management, cognitive-behavior training, team-based support, mindfulness-based programs, co-worker support, healthy lifestyle, family support, spirituality/religion, and physical and emotional distancing from work. The evidence-based intervention suggested in this paper is the adoption of coping and stress management for minimizing burnout among nurses who practice coping mechanisms in comparison to their counterparts who do not and at the verge of quitting the profession.

Nursing Intervention

With regards to the nursing intervention, the growing prevalence of burnout in nursing calls for adoption of organizational practices and policies aimed at tackling this pertinent clinical issue. De Oliveira et al. (2019) insisted that the adoption of coping and stress management strategies can only be effectively realized in the event a healthy, supportive and participatory work environment is created and maintained. Garcia et al. (2019) emphasized that strong nursing leadership  that embraces empathy, open communication, collaboration, active listening and teamwork can play a fundamental role in enhancing the meaningfulness of work, fostering opportunity to engage in decision-making, facilitating the attainment of organizational goals,  offering workplace autonomy and empowering employees to become more productive, motivated and committed. Therefore, the nursing management must strive to promote a positive and supportive work context, proactive coping behaviors and optimistic attitudes through role-modeling, distributed leadership, education and training and the use of incentives.

Patient Care


The detrimental implications of nursing burnout on patient care is based on the increased risk of adverse events including medical errors, prescription errors, safety concerns and reduced quality of care. Maresca et al. (2022) established that stressed healthcare personnel provide poor quality care due to increased exposure to long shifts, changing schedules, intense emotional involvement, exposure to illness and chemicals, high-energy physical demands and poor nurse-patient relationships. As such, the negative outcomes associated with this clinical problem on patient care calls for implementation of evidence-based intervention to tackle the causes, risk factors and effects of burnout.

Health Care Agency

The healthcare agency in question is a Community hospital, and currently experiences persistent nursing shortages that have been credited for contributing to the high work-related stress levels and burnout among nurses.

Nursing Practice

Besides the effects on patient care, nursing burnout as a pertinent clinical issue possess detrimental implications on the nursing practice. Merlo (2021) pointed out that nurse burnout remains a serious healthcare problem that has attracted the attention of policymakers, healthcare practitioners, government authorities, patients, researchers and the general public. De Oliveira et al. (2019) added that nurses and other healthcare practitioners affected by burnout tend to experience a higher risk of developing severe mental health problems including depression, and anxiety,  losing passion and commitment to their jobs, and even quitting the profession altogether. For healthcare entities, burnouts have been cited to contribute to reduced productivity, lower quality of care, nurse turnovers, poor reputation, increased patient safety concerns and reduced profitability (Maresca et al., 2022). Therefore, the detrimental implications on nursing burnout on the health practice are based on how this healthcare problem can negatively affect the individual and collective wellness of both healthcare practitioners and patients.



Based on the PICOT question, this paper sought to highlight weather coping and stress management intervention can help to reduce the problem of nursing burnout when implemented in an hospital setting over a six month period. The findings argued that appropriate stress coping strategies can prove instrumental in tackling nurse burnout and alleviating the negative effects and consequences associated with this healthcare problem on patients, practitioners and healthcare organizations.



Aryankhesal, A., Mohammadibakhsh, R., Hamidi, Y., Alidoost, S., Behzadifar, M., Sohrabi, R., & Farhadi, Z. (2019). Interventions on reducing burnout in physicians and nurses: A systematic review. Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

De Oliveira, S. M., De Alcantara Sousa, L. V., Vieira Gadelha, M. D., & Do Nascimento, V. B. (2019). Prevention actions of burnout syndrome in nurses: An integrating literature review. Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health, 15(1), 64-73.

Garcia, C., Abreu, L., Ramos, J., Castro, C., Smiderle, F., Santos, J., & Bezerra, I. (2019). Influence of burnout on patient safety: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicina, 55(9), 553.

Maresca, G., Corallo, F., Catanese, G., Formica, C., & Lo Buono, V. (2022). Coping strategies of healthcare professionals with burnout syndrome: A systematic review. Medicina, 58(2), 327.

Merlo, G. (2021). Stress, burnout, and coping strategies. Principles of Medical Professionalism, 179-196.

Oducado, R. M. (2021). Influence of self-esteem, psychological empowerment, and empowering leader behaviors on assertive behaviors of staff nurses. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Stemley, M. (2022). Reignite: Fighting burnout with a virtual resiliency program for nurse leaders. Nurse Leader.


Assessment Description
A PICOT starts with a designated patient population in a particular clinical area and identifies clinical problems or issues that arise from clinical care. The intervention should be an independent, specified nursing change intervention. The intervention cannot require a provider prescription. Include a comparison to a patient population not currently receiving the intervention, and specify the timeframe needed to implement the change process.
Formulate a PICOT statement using the PICOT format.

Here is an article to help guide you in the development of your PICO(t) statement:

What Is Your Research Question? An Introduction to the PICOT Format for Clinicians

Read “What Is Your Research Question? An Introduction to the PICOT Format for Clinicians,” by Riva, Malik, Burnie, Endicott, and Busse, from Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association (2012).

The PICOT statement will provide a framework for your capstone project.

In a paper of 500-750 words, clearly identify the clinical problem and how it can result in a positive patient outcome.

Make sure to address the following on the PICOT statement:

Evidence-Based Solution
Nursing Intervention
Patient Care
Health Care Agency
Nursing Practice
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

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