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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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Variable

Definition: Any characteristic that can be measured in different individuals. A variable is also any factor that can affect the outcome of an experiment or study.

Example: For example, a clinical trial found that a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug is better than acetaminophen for osteoarthritis pain relief. In this study, whether a study participant received the NSAID drug or acetaminophen is an independent variable, and the amount of pain relief is a dependent variable.

Related Terms