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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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Heterogeneity

Definition: Differences among research studies. Heterogeneity can apply to either the way the studies were conducted, the methodologies used in the studies, or differences in the way people respond to the treatment. Research reports may describe different types of heterogeneity:

Example: For example, if three clinical trials of a new drug were performed and only one of the trials found that the drug had efficacy, the results would show heterogeneity. Careful review of the three studies would show whether the heterogeneity was probably caused by statistical heterogeneity, methodological heterogeneity, or clinical heterogeneity.

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