Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch

Risk-Benefit Evaluation

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_3034

Definition

Prior to medical experiments or clinical trials, the potential risks and benefits for the participants have to be analyzed and evaluated. Depending on the medical condition to be treated, different risks may be taken depending on the potential benefit. For instance, it is obvious that a substance or procedure intended to treat a headache after a social event and a substance or procedure intended to cure leukemia have to be evaluated differently because the risks of both conditions differ so widely.

A risk–benefit evaluation has to be updated as new data become available (e. g. after each adverse reaction occurring during a trial, because as this may increase the potential risk it has to be ensured that the potential benefit of the procedure still outweighs the new risk status).

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008