- Glossary of Terms
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.
Definition: The ability of a test to identify correctly people without a condition. A test with high specificity will rarely be wrong about who does NOT have the condition (the test has a low rate of false-positive results). Specificity is also known as the true-negative rate.
Example: For example, researchers looked at 10 studies that evaluated the specificity 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 not to cancerous, 72 had negative MRI tests. In these studies, the specificity of MRI was 72 percent.