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Encyclopedia > Efficacy

Efficacy is the ability to produce a desired amount of a desired effect.




In a medical context it indicates that the therapeutic effect of a given intervention (e.g. intake of a medicine, an operation, or a public health measure) is acceptable. 'Acceptable' in that context refers to a consensus that it is at least as good as other available interventions to which it will have ideally been compared to in a clinical trial. For example, an efficacious vaccine has the ability to prevent or cure a specific illness in an acceptable proportion of exposed individuals. In strict epidemiological language, 'efficacy' refers to the impact of an intervention in a clinical trial, differing from 'effectiveness' which refers to the impact in real world situations. A therapeutic effect is a consequence of a medical treatment, of any kind, the results of which are judged to be desirable and beneficial. ... In health care, including medicine, a clinical trial (synonyms: clinical studies, research protocols, medical research) is a process in which a medicine or other medical treatment is tested for its safety and effectiveness, often in comparison to existing treatments. ... A vaccine is an antigenic preparation used to establish immunity to a disease. ... Cure can be: successful treatment of disease preserve (meat, for example), as by salting, smoking, or aging (see curing) prepare, preserve, or finish (a substance) by a chemical or physical process (one example is the curing, or seasoning, of a cast iron pan; another is the curing of an adhesive... Illness (sometimes referred to as ill-health) can be defined as a state of poor health. ...

The concept of 'self-efficacy' is an important one in the self-management of chronic diseases because doctors and patients often do not follow best practice in using a treatment. For instance, a patient using combined oral contraceptive pills to prevent pregnancy may sometimes forget to take a pill at the prescribed time; thus, while the perfect-use failure rate for this form of contraception in the first year of use is just 0.3%, the typical-use failure rate is 8%.[1] In medicine, a chronic disease is a disease that is long-lasting or recurrent. ... Best Practice is a management idea which asserts that there is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. ... The Pill redirects here. ...


In Pharmacology, efficacy refers to the ability of a drug to induce a biological response in its molecular target. This must be distinguished from the affinity, which refers to the ability of the drug to bind to its molecular. In chemistry and biochemistry, a dissociation constant or an ionization constant is a specific type of equilibrium constant used for reversible reactions or processes. ...

The term is often used to classify the activity of a drug upon binding to its receptor.

  • agonist: affinity and maximum efficacy
  • antagonist : affinity without efficacy
  • partial agonist: affinity and partial efficacy

Agonists An agonist is a substance that binds to a receptor and triggers a response in the cell. ... An ...


In lighting design, "efficacy" refers to the amount of light (luminous flux) produced by a lamp (a light bulb or other light source), usually measured in lumens, as a ratio of the amount of energy consumed to produce it, usually measured in watts. This is not to be confused with efficiency which is always a dimensionless ratio of output divided by input which for lighting relates to the watts of visible energy as a ratio of the energy consumed in watts. The visible energy can be approximated by the area under the Plancks curve between 300 nm and 700 nm for a blackbody at the temperature of the filament as a ratio of the total energy under the blackbody curve. Efficiency values for light from a heat source are typically less than two percent.

Difference Amplifiers

The efficacy of a differential amplifier is measured by the degree of its rejection of common-mode signals inpreference to differential signals. Refer to common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR).

See also

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  Results from FactBites:
Self-efficacy defined (7370 words)
People who have a high sense of efficacy are likely to view their state of affective arousal as an energizing facilitator of performance, whereas those who are beset by self- doubts regard their arousal as a debilitator.
It requires a strong sense of efficacy to remain task oriented in the face of pressing situational demands, failures and setbacks that have significant repercussions.
Adolescents expand and strengthen their sense of efficacy by learning how to deal successfully with potentially troublesome matters in which they are unpracticed as well as with advantageous life events.
SIEGEL-Efficacy (8505 words)
If there are cases where a sense of efficacy attaches to momentary occurrences such as seeming to turn on the lights in the Eiffel tower, one could consider what relation the feeling of efficacy bears to sensory experiences that occur at the same time.
But if the existence of such beliefs counted as experiential representations of efficacy the Main thesis would hardly be informative, and in any case would not illuminate what is going on in the Eiffel tower case, where the subject does not believe that she turned on the tower’s lights.
In the Eiffel tower case, you intend to turn on the lights in your apartment; in the case of spoken miscommunication, you intend to tell your addressee that you’re not coming to her party; in the case of the toddler, she intends to move the light switch.
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