Medical Definition of Bias

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/4/2018

Bias: 1. When a point of view prevents impartial judgment on issues relating to the subject of that point of view. In a clinical trial, bias refers to effects that a conclusion that may be incorrect as, for example, when a researcher or patient knows what treatment is being given. To avoid bias, a blinded study may be done. 2. Deviation of results or inferences from the truth, or processes leading to such systematic deviation. Any trend in the collection, analysis, interpretation, publication, or review of data that can lead to conclusions that are systematically different from the truth.

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018