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In general, efficacy is the ability to produce an effect, usually a specifically desired effect. For example, an efficacious vaccine has the ability to prevent or cure a specific illness. In medicine a distinction is often drawn between 'efficacy' and 'effectiveness'. Whereas efficacy may be shown in clinical trials, effectiveness is demonstrated in practice. The concept of 'self-efficacy' is an important one in the self-management of chronic diseases.


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