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Efficacy: Getting stuff done

Efficacy is mostly used in a scientific setting. Efficacy is the ability to create an anticipated effect.

For example, a specific medication that improves a patient's symptoms in an ideal environment has demonstrated efficacy.

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Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency

Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency

These terms sound very similar and are often used interchangeably in everyday conversations.

  • Efficacy means getting stuff done. (Related question: Is it working?)
  • Effectiveness means doing the right things. (Is it working well?

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Efficiency: Doing things right

Once you find an effective solution, you can try to improve it, or make it more efficient.

Efficiency is about doing this in the most economical way in terms of time, energy, or money.

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Effectiveness: Doing the right things

Efficacy is not always enough. Medication that improves a patient's symptoms under ideal conditions is technically getting things done, but not always the right things.

Effectiveness in clinical trials is about how well a treatment works in the real world, not just in per...

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"I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it." -Frank Howard Clark ⁠

MORE LIKE THIS

Effectiveness: Doing the right things

Efficacy is not always enough. Medication that improves a patient's symptoms under ideal conditions is technically getting things done, but not always the right things.

Effectiveness in clinical trials is about how well a treatment works in the real world, not just in per...

4. Greater self-efficacy

4. Greater self-efficacy

As outlined by Albert Bandura (1997), self-efficacy is the belief in being able to execute necessary actions in service of a goal.

Goals that lead to higher self-efficacy are s...

The placebo effect

The placebo effect

The placebo effect happens when a person takes medication that he thinks will help, but the medication has not been proven to be effective for the specific condition.

Placebos work in about 30 percent of patients. Some placebos contain no active ingredien...

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