Defining Responders and Non-responders
A physician in a clinic would typically like an answer to the question: Who will benefit from this treatment? In particular, will this patient benefit from this treatment? In an effort to answer the question, astute clinicians observe patients serially; in other words, they will try a treatment on the patient and then adjust the therapy if his or her condition does not respond. Although the sample size in this experiment is n = 1, the observations collected over time for this patient and others provide a knowledge base and have led clinicians toward a major understanding of certain treatments. Often, and historically, these understandings, taken collectively, have informed practice standards. However, this approach runs the risk of underestimating the extent of unsuccessful treatments, due to a failure to examine those patients who do not return.
KeywordsPositive Predictive Value Multiple Sclerosis Patient Risk Ratio Expand Disability Status Scale Magnetic Resonance Imaging Lesion
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