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Glossary of Terms

We know that many of the concepts used on this site can be difficult to understand. For that reason, we have provided you with a glossary to help you make sense of the terms used in Comparative Effectiveness Research. Every word that is defined in this glossary should appear highlighted throughout the Web site. When you come upon a highlighted term and would like to read the full definition, you can either click on the word to visit the glossary or roll your mouse over the word for a pop-up definition.

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

True-Positive Rate

Definition: The ability of a test to identify correctly people with a condition. A test with a high true-positive rate will will nearly always be positive for people who have the condition (the test has a low rate of false-negative results). The true-positive rate is also known as sensitivity.

Example: For example, researchers looked at 10 studies that evaluated the sensitivity of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) for diagnosing cancer in people who had suspicious breast lumps. Out of every 100 people whose breast lumps were eventually found to be cancerous, 92 had positive MRI tests. In these studies, the true-positive rate of MRI was 92 percent.

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