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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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Gold Standard Test

Definition: The diagnostic test that is considered the most accurate test for a particular condition. If the gold standard test is positive, it is highly likely that the person has the disease. If the gold standard test is negative, it is highly likely that the person does not have the disease.

Example: For example, a breast biopsy is considered the "gold standard" in breast cancer diagnosis. If a research study is trying to evaluate how accurate a test is for diagnosing breast cancer, results from the other test will be compared to the same person's biopsy result. The accuracy or inaccuracy of the other test is determined by whether or not it matches the result of the gold standard test.

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