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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

Bias

Any factor, recognized or not, that distorts the findings of a study. In research studies, bias can influence the observations, results, and conclusions of the study and make them less accurate or believable. detail

Black Box Warning

An advisory from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that tells health care professionals and consumers that a drug might be very dangerous for some people. The FDA is the U.S. Government agency that regulates and monitors drugs and medical devices to make sure they are safe and effective. detail

Blinding

A way of making sure that the people involved in a research study — participants, clinicians, or researchers — do not know which participants are assigned to each study group. Blinding usually is used in research studies that compare two or more types of treatment for an illness. Blinding is used to make sure that knowing the type of treatment does not affect a participant's response to the treatment, a health care provider's behavior, or assessment of the treatment effects. detail