Clinical Research Glossary

probability probability


The likelihood or chance that something might happen.

Example of probability in a sentence

The informed consent process should include information about the probability of adverse events.

More Info

Probability is also used to describe the likelihood of a risk factor or exposure leading to a condition or disease, for example, what the probability of developing lung cancer is after smoking cigarettes.

Other info to think about when joining a study

You may see the term “probability” used to describe the chance that you will be assigned into one group or another in the study (randomization). You may also see this term when discussing how likely a risk or adverse event might happen.

When you see this term, it might be helpful to ask what the probability means for you as a participant in the study or if you are taking a particular treatment. For example: What is the probability that you will get one study treatment over another? What is the probability of a particular risk happening to you?

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