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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.

 

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Clinical Research

Definition: The branch of medical science devoted to finding information that improves people's health. It includes research studies that examine the safety and effectiveness of medications, medical devices, diagnostic tests, and treatment regimens intended for human use. Usually, more than one person with the same disease is studied.

Example: For example, the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) is a national clinical research study composed of several study components. The WHI includes:

  1. A randomized controlled clinical trial of promising but unproven approaches to prevention;
  2. An observational study to identify predictors of disease; and
  3. A study of community approaches to developing healthful behaviors.

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