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What is an outcome?

Updated: May 10, 2022

An outcome is the effect that a type of treatment has on the health or wellbeing of the person

receiving it. Researchers measure outcomes to evaluate if the treatment is having a positive or a negative impact.


A team of researchers is developing a new medication for headaches. To evaluate the medication, they are measuring the outcome pain severity. If the medication is effective, they expect that pain severity will go down.

To measure outcomes in research studies, we use Outcome Measurement Instruments (OMI)s. For example, blood glucose is measured with a laboratory test, body weight is measured through a physical examination, and quality of life is measured with a questionnaire.


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