Determining the key concepts of your topic will help establish you search terms. Frameworks like PICO and PEO are widely used in health research to help identify the key concepts of a topic, and to structure a literature review.
The PICO framework is typically used for topics involving an intervention. You divide your topic into four separate concepts:
* If you don't have a comparison that's okay, it's not essential, you can leave out that element (example 2 below).
The PEO framework can be useful for qualitative topics. You break down your topic into three separate concepts:
Don't worry if your topic doesn't fit exactly into any of these frameworks. As long as you follow the basic guidelines of focusing only on the key concepts of your topic, you are following the right path.