Glossary

• Absolute risk reduction (risk difference) is the absolute arithmetic difference in the risk of the adverse outcome between control group (CER) and experimental group (EER). When an intervention increases the probability of a beneficial outcome it is known as the absolute benefit increase (ABI).

• Confidence interval (CI) is the range within which the true value of a statistical measure can be expected to lie. The CI is usually accompanied by a percentage value (usually 95 per cent) which shows the level of confidence that the true value lies within this range.

• Event rate is the proportion of patients in a group in whom the event is observed. In control patients, this is called the control event rate (CER) and in experimental patients it is called the experimental event rate (EER). The patient expected event rate (PEER) refers to the rate of events that would be expected in a patient who received no treatment or conventional treatment.

• Number needed to treat (NNT) is the reciprocal of the absolute risk reduction and is the number of patients that need to be treated to prevent one bad outcome or to achieve one beneficial outcome.

• Odds ratio is the odds of the outcome in the experimental group divide by the odds of the outcome in the control group. The odds ratio is often reported in meta-analyses because of its useful statistical properties.

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