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  • A priori In reference to clinical trials, to do something prior to initiation of the study.
  • Absolute risk reduction The difference in the percentage of subjects developing the adverse event in the control group versus subjects in the intervention group. Also refers to the number of subjects spared the adverse event by taking the intervention compared to the control.
  • Abstracting service A database that provides abstracts and citations for journal articles.
  • Abstracts A synopsis (usually of 250 words or less) of the most important aspect(s) of an article.
  • Academic detailing Process by which a health care educator visits a physician to provide a 15 to 20 minute educational intervention on a specific topic. Information provided is based on the physician's prescribing patterns and evidence-based medicine.
  • Action-guides A term coined by Beauchamp and Childress to refer to a hierarchical approach to the analysis of an ethical issue when forming particular judgments about the issue.
  • Adjunctive therapy Inclusion of a treatment that can affect the study outcome, but is equally distributed between both the intervention and control groups (e.g., controlled diet in a study measure lipid reduction therapy).
  • Adverse drug event (ADE) Any injury caused by a medicine.This includes adverse drug reactions and medication errors.
  • Adverse drug reaction (ADR) The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) definition of ADRs is "any adverse event associated with the use of a drug in humans, whether or not considered drug related, including the following: adverse event occurring in the course of the use of a drug product in professional practice; an adverse event occurring from drug overdose, whether accidental or intentional; an adverse event occurring from drug abuse; an adverse event occurring from drug withdrawal; and any significant failure of expected pharmacologic action." Adverse drug reactions also include drug interactions. Several other definitions are available, many of which are discussed in Chapter 15.
  • Agenda for Change An initiative adopted by the JCAHO in 1986 intended to improve standards by focusing on key functions of quality of care, to monitor the performance of health care organizations using indicators, to improve the relevance and quality of the survey process, and to enhance the accuracy and value of JCAHO accreditation.
  • Aggregator A piece of software that is used to automatically collect information from RSS and weblog sites, which allows the user to look at material from many of those sites at one time and in one place.
  • Alpha (level of significance) The probability of a false-positive result in a study.
  • Analytic research Quantitative research conducted in a controlled environment to determine cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Ancillary therapy Inclusion of a treatment, which can directly affect the study outcome, that is not equally distributed between the intervention and control groups (e.g., antacid use in a study measuring reduction of heartburn symptoms between two acid-suppressive agents).
  • Article proposal A letter asking the publisher whether he or she would be interested in possibly publishing something on a particular topic written by the person(s) who is inquiring.
  • Aspect of care A ...

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