Complications or Adverse Effects of Treatment

Complications, adverse effects, and adverse outcomes are the downside of disease and treatment. If they occur, they lower the quality of care as experienced from the patients' perspective while increasing cost. The result is worse care at a higher price, the opposite of what we all strive for; better care at a lower price. Thus, complications have lately attracted much attention, and much effort is spent trying to prevent them. By studying them and the mechanisms that underlie them, measures of prevention or reduction may be identified and implemented, thereby improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of care.


There are various definitions available on the concepts of “complications” and “adverse effect” in the medical context. Although they may differ on details, common denominators in most definitions are ...

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