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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

Odds Ratio

The chance of an event occurring in one group compared to the chance of it occurring in another group. The odds ratio (OR) is a measure of effect size and is commonly used to compare results in clinical trials. detail

Off-Label Use

The practice of prescribing a drug for a condition not listed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) label. The label lists the medical conditions for which the FDA has approved the drug. Off-label uses may be supported by clinical evidence not available or not submitted to the FDA. Accepted medical practice often includes off-label use. detail

Open-Label Study

A clinical research study in which the participant, health care professional, and others know the drug and dose being given. The research study is not "blinded." detail

OTC

A term used to describe drugs you can buy without a prescription. detail

Outcome

The end result of health care practices. There are many kinds of outcomes. How long people live following a health care treatment is one kind of outcome, known as survival. Other outcomes measure the effects a treatment has on people’s lives, such as changes in their ability to function or changes in their quality of life. Outcomes also include undesirable events such as side effects of drugs. Another type of outcome is whether people needed to change to another kind of treatment. detail

Over-the-Counter

A term used to describe drugs you can buy without a prescription. detail