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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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Sample Size

Definition: The number of people included in a study. In research reports, sample size is usually expressed as "n." In general, studies with larger sample sizes have a broader range of participants. This increases the chance that the study's findings apply to the general population. Larger sample sizes also increase the chance that rare events (such as adverse effects of drugs) will be detected.

Example: For example, for an analysis of the side effects of atypical antipsychotic drugs, the researchers decided to include only studies with a sample size of 1,000 or more people (n > 1,000).

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