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Glossary: “... a lexicon of the technical, obscure, or foreign words of a work or field.”1

Each issue of Evidence-Based Mental Health will include a glossary introducing the technical and obscure words used in different fields. The first glossary covered terms used in diagnosis. The second covered terms used in treatment. The fourth issue covered meta-analysis using the article by Marshall and Lockwood.2

In this meta-analysis, assertive community treatment (ACT) reduced the likelihood, described as the odds, of being admitted to hospital compared with treatment as usual (TAU). The odds of an event is the probability, or event rate, divided by (1− event rate). A measure of the relative benefit of the experimental treatment can then be obtained by dividing the experimental odds by the control odds (odds ratio, OR). In the example, the OR for admission to hospital with ACT compared with TAU was 0.6. ORs from several studies can be combined using meta-analysis to produce a pooled OR. Heterogeneity occurs when there is more variation between the study results than would be expected by chance alone. When …

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