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1. in statistics, the tendency of a system to be resistant to failure.
2. precision (def. 2).


The degree of stability exhibited when a measurement is repeated under identical conditions. See: correlation coefficient, reliability coefficient.
[M.E. relien, fr. O.Fr. relier, fr. L. religo, to bind]


Etymology: L, religare, to fasten behind
(in research) the extent to which a test measurement or device produces the same results with different investigators, observers, or administration of the test over time. If repeated use of the same measurement tool on the same sample produces the same consistent results, the measurement is considered reliable. Compare validity.


Statistics The extent to which the same test or procedure will yield the same result either over time or with different observers. See Interrater reliability, Test-retest reliability.


Repeatability; ability of a test to be repeated by several testers and produce the same result.
[M.E. relien, fr. O.Fr. relier, fr. L. religo, to bind]


The extent to which multiple measurements of the same thing, made on separate occasions, yield approximately the same results. The reliability between two sets of scores can be assessed by determining the correlation coefficient (test-retest reliability coefficient). See validity.


Degree of stability exhibited when a measurement is repeated under identical conditions.
See: correlation coefficient
[M.E. relien, fr. O.Fr. relier, fr. L. religo, to bind]


n 1. in research, the reproducibility of an experimental result; the extent to which an experiment, test, or measuring procedure yields the same result during independent, repeated trials.
n 2. the ability of two or more observers to examine the same data and arrive at a similar judgment within predefined bounds concerning the quality of care.

Patient discussion about reliability

Q. How easy is it to tell about the baby’s birth date? Is it reliable? Hi everyone! My sister is being diagnosed as pregnant. She has a very regular menstrual cycle and her hormone levels are good. How easy is it to tell about the baby’s birth date? Is it reliable?

A. My friend got the due date of birth by doctor and it goes very near by, just the difference was for 5 days from the date. Since you have very regular menstural cycle, it would be easy for the doctors to calculate the birth date. And you can rely on the birth date being calculated by the doctors. It can be calculated easily. You need to find the 1st day of your last period then count back 3 months and add 7 days. Now you get your date.

Q. Can someone…clarify which is the best and reliable one? Hi I am 23 years woman............ I am confused with the different type of tests and diagnosis my friend is having as she is being suspected for breasts cancer. Can someone…clarify which is the best and reliable one?

A. Please understand that all the tests that are being carried out are reliable and it would entirely depend upon the requirement and treatment stages. They would also depend upon age groups , stages of cancer etc. In general the different types are: clinical breast examination done by the clinicians in a clinic. Mammogram, which are special X-ray to check abnormal growth changes in the breast tissues. Chance of cyst to be confused by breast cancer is resolved by ultrasound. To check if the particular tissue is cancerous is done by breast biopsy.

Q. What are the tests and steps involved in diagnosis of breast cancer and are all tests reliable?

A. First symptoms are looked for----- as a lump and pain associated with it and any redness or any nipple discharge. They also look for the medical history and if found for any possibility then it’s evaluated by mammography, but for woman it can give wrong result as they have dense breasts but for men it is well diagnosed. If any breast abnormalities are found during mammography they are confirmed with ultrasound and for women patients this is a better option. For women and symptom evident men for nipple discharge are also looked for nipple discharge test. But these tests do not confirm a cancer and for confirmation a biopsy is required followed by lab test on those biopsy samples. Biopsy is removing of body tissue for further cancer confirmative lab tests which is generally looking under a microscope to indentify the cell type and the type of cancer is known. Their reliability is based on the person operating the instrument and his experience.

More discussions about reliability
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