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Words matter in clinical research

One of the best ways to understand clinical research is to have an accurate definition of all the terminology.  


Adverse Event

A negative change or medical occurance that happens during a clinical trial or within a certain time period after the trial has ended. An adverse event may or may not be caused by the treatment being studied.


Arm assignment

The assignment of a group or subgroup of participants in a clinical trial to receive interventions, or no interventions, as specified in the study protocol.



A procedure (e.g. a blood test, scan, etc.) used to generate data required by the trial.

Terms compiled by Novartis and available at

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