Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Formulate a Clinical Question

Know that your question is both important and answerable

Does the answer to my question matter?

Getting evidence is likely to be ‘worth the effort’ if the answers to these questions is yes:

  • Will this information have a direct bearing on the health of my patient/s (is it something they care about)?
  • Is the problem common to my practice?

Could I design a clinical trial to answer my question?

If you can’t conceptualise a valid and feasible clinical trial design to answer your question, then it’s likely that the question is not answerable.

  • Could this patient group be identified and recruited to a clinical trial in sufficient numbers?
  • Would the intervention be feasible to deliver in a clinical trial?
  • Would the outcomes of interest be measurable?
  • If the answer to these questions is ‘no’, then your question may not be answerable
  • Check with a more experienced colleague to see if they think your question can be answered