Clinical Research Glossary

generalizability generalizability


How research results can apply to people who were not part of the study.

Example of generalizability in a sentence

A study has generalizability if the results are useful and can apply beyond the original study participants.

More Info

Ideally, research findings should have generalizability to people outside of the study.

Good generalizability means research results can be broadly applied to a large number of people who are similar in some way .

Poor generalizability means that the results can only be applied to the study population or very specific situation.

Other info to think about when joining a study

You may hear the term “generalizability” when the study team is describing what they hope the outcome of the research study will be.

You could ask the study team at the beginning of the study if they expect the research results to have generalizability to larger groups. You can also ask how generalizable the results are likely to be.

The word may also be used in publications about research, especially in the “Discussion” section.

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