The PICO/T acronym is broken down as follows:
P=Patient population of interest
I =Intervention of interest
C=Comparison of interest
O=Outcome of interest
T=Time it takes to demonstrate an outcome
Initially only four components were included. Later, Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt (2010) added a fifth, representing time (i.e., the time it takes for the intervention to achieve an outcome, or how long participants are observed)
Here's a great example from professor Godshall (2016) on a PICO/T process: Placement of postpyloric feeding tubes in the pediatric intensive care unit.
P=Pediatric patients admitted to the PICU who are mechanically ventilated
I=Placement of postpyloric feeding tubes for all mechanically ventilated patients
C=Postpyloric feeding tubes versus gastric feeding tubes
O=Decreased incidence of aspiration pneumonia in the PICU patients receiving long-term mechanical ventilation
Godshall, M. (2016). Fast Facts for Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing: Implementing EBP in a Nutshell. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Melnyk B. M. & Fineout-Overholt E. (2010). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.