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Research Nexus: Terms and Definitions

Better research through better thinking

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Terms & Definitions

Evidence Based Medicine- Evidence based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. (From BMJ 1996;312:71-72)

Absolute Risk Reduction -The absolute arithmetic difference (risk difference) in rates of harmful outcomes between experimental (EER) and control groups (CER), calculated as the rate of harmful outcome in the control group minus the rate of harmful outcome in the experimental group (CER–EER). Use restricted to a beneficial exposure or intervention. (From Users’ Guide to the Medical Literature Glossary; accessed online through JAMA on 3/18/05) 

Meta Analysis - A quantitative method of combining the results of independent studies (usually drawn from the published literature) and synthesizing summaries and conclusions which may be used to evaluate therapeutic effectiveness, plan new studies, etc., with application chiefly in the areas of research and medicine. (From Medical Subject Headings; accessed through PubMed on 3/18/05) Number Needed to Treat 

Longitudinal Studies - Studies in which variables relating to an individual or group of individuals are assessed over a period of time. (From Medical Subject Headings; accessed through PubMed on 3/18/05) 

NNT (Number Needed to Treat)- The number of patients who need to be treated over a specific period of time to achieve one additional good outcome. When discussing NNT, it is important to specify the intervention, its duration, and the good outcome. It is the inverse of the absolute risk reduction (1/ARR). (From Users’ Guide to the Medical Literature Glossary; accessed online through JAMA on 3/18/05

P-Value -The probability that results as or more extreme than those observed would occur if the null hypothesis were true and the experiment were repeated over and over. A P value < 0.05 means that there is a less than 1 in 20 probability of the result occurring by chance alone if the null hypothesis were true. (From Users’ Guide to the Medical Literature Glossary; accessed online through JAMA on 3/18/05) 

Relative Risk - Ratio of the risk of an event among an exposed population to the risk among the unexposed. (From Users’ Guide to the Medical Literature Glossary; accessed online through JAMA on 3/18/05) 

Sensitivity and Specificity - Measures for assessing the results of diagnostic and screening tests. Sensitivity represents the proportion of truly diseased persons in a screened population who are identified as being diseased by the test. It is a measure of the probability of correctly diagnosing a condition. Specificity is the proportion of truly non-diseased persons who are so identified by the screening test. It is a measure of the probability of correctly identifying a non-diseased person. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed) 

Data Collection: Tools & Technologies

Gephi

Gephi is an open-source software for visualizing large data sets. Gephi works primarily with Exploratory Data Analysis, using graphing and manipulation to reveal patterns. This kind of tool compliments traditional statistical analysis. 

preview of gephi using a map for colon cancer and interrelated terms

Google Fusion Tables

Google Fusion Tables offer free visualization tools for data. They offer also offer access to public data sets. You can import your own data sets and export the final visualization or map as an image or an embed-able url.

sample of a variety of uses for google fusion tables including maps and bar graphs

Jasp

A refreshing and FREE alternative to SPSS. JASP can also open data sets in .csv. JASP is designed for function and ease of use. 

jasp table

RStudio

R studio is an open source software designed for R. It includes a code editor, debugging and visualization tools. It also helps to create interactive web applications fo data visualization. 

r studio software

R language

Overview of coding and use of R language, a freely available language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. This website includes links to software, download links, and information about R.