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Effectiveness

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Effectiveness is the extent to which a particular health technology (medical device, drug, procedure, health program, or health service, including interventions) does what it is intended to do (i.e., leads to a beneficial health outcome or result) when it is provided under clinical practice conditions or in the field.

The basic conceptual difference between effectiveness and efficacy of a given medical technology lies in the conditions under which it is provided and estimated. Efficacy refers to its benefits when it is deployed under ideal conditions (under the highest possible control of variables) and effectiveness when it is provided under realistic conditions, such as those encountered in clinical practice.

The effectiveness of a particular health technology can be established or estimated by means of different quasi-experimental and observational ...

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