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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

True-Negative Rate

Definition: The ability of a test to identify correctly people without the condition. A test with a high true-negative rate will rarely be wrong about who does NOT have the condition (the test has a low rate of false-positive results). The true-negative rate is also known as specificity .

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 true-negative rate of MRI was 72 percent.

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