Comparative Effectiveness Research is defined as:
The direct comparison of existing health care interventions to determine which work best for which patients and which pose the greatest benefits and harms. The core question of comparative effectiveness research is which treatment works best, for whom, and under what circumstances.
The following list of more detailed definitions is provided by leading medical, medical research or governmental agencies and institutions.
Institute of Medicine (IOM)
CER is the generation and synthesis of evidence that compares the benefits and harms of alternative methods to prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor a clinical condition, or to improve the delivery of care. The purpose of CER is to assist consumers, clinicians, purchasers, and policy makers to make informed decisions that will improve health care at both the individual and population levels.
Source: Sox HC, Greenfield S. Comparative effectiveness research: a report from the Institute of Medicine. Ann Intern Med. 2009; 151(3):203-5.
Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research
Comparative effectiveness research is the conduct and synthesis of research comparing the benefits and harms of different interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor health conditions in “real world” settings. The purpose of this research is to improve health outcomes by developing and disseminating evidence-based information to patients, clinicians, and other decision-makers, responding to their expressed needs, about which interventions are most effective for which patients under specific circumstances.
- To provide this information, comparative effectiveness research must assess a comprehensive array of health-related outcomes for diverse patient populations and subgroups.
- Defined interventions compared may include medications, procedures, medical and assistive devices and technologies, diagnostic testing, behavioral change, and delivery system strategies.
- This research necessitates the development, expansion, and use of a variety of data sources and methods to assess comparative effectiveness and actively disseminate the results.
Source: Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. Report to the President and Congress. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services; 2009.
Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) helps people and their caregivers communicate and make informed health care decisions, allowing their voices to be heard in assessing the value of health care options. This research answers patient-centered questions such as:
- “Given my personal characteristics, conditions and preferences, what should I expect will happen to me?”
- “What are my options and what are the potential benefits and harms of those options?”
- “What can I do to improve the outcomes that are most important to me?”
- “How can clinicians and the care delivery systems they work in help me make the best decisions about my health and healthcare?”
Available at: http://www.pcori.org/what-we-do/pcor/