English is not my native language. Thus, I ask your help in choosing a correct word for concluding my work.

I have more and less fit patients (two groups). Obviously, the fitter patients need less rehabilitation for recovery. However, my research showed that fitter patients had better chances of receiving rehabilitation.

Which word should I use in my conclusion?


This work shows unequal/non-need-based allocation of rehabilitation.

Merriam-Webster definitions:


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/need (couldn't find need-based)

  • "unequal" would also describe the case where the fitter patients received less rehab.
    – Barmar
    Nov 1, 2021 at 18:28
  • 1
    No one word should be used in this case, especially if it is research; it can lead to misunderstandings and loose interpretation.
    – Sofiko
    Nov 3, 2021 at 8:29
  • You wouldn't say "more fitter", just "fitter".
    – smci
    Apr 6, 2022 at 13:08
  • I think you're aiming for 'inequitable' rather than 'unequal'. The former means 'unfair'; the latter merely 'the same'. Even equal [amounts of] treatment would be inequitable: the less fit have the greater need. // Note that 'need less rehabilitation' treats rehabilitation as a gradable provision whereas 'had better chances of receiving rehabilitation' seems to imply a binary (yes or no) situation. Apr 6, 2022 at 15:02

3 Answers 3


In your context I would suggest that non-needs-based (or preferably "allocation of rehabilitation not based on need") is more appropriate.

The reason I say this is that needs-based (note plural rather than singular 'needs') is, by its nature, unequal. Those with the greater need should receive more rehabilitation.



If English is not your native language, try to revert to simple direct sentences, rather than aping the dreadful academese written by those who are abusing their native language.

This work shows that rehabilitation is not offered to patients according to whether they need it.

They may not like it, but they will certainly understand it.


(Without knowing medical jargon, I don't see why this would be "non-need-based", perhaps you could define what "need-based" means. But anyway "non-need-based" doesn't convey a clear idea of what you are proposing.)

Since what you're suggesting is differential allocation (which implies intent, rather than "unequal", which just sounds bad), specifically differential, based on the likelihood that fitter patients will have higher rate of success:

  • "differential allocation of rehabilitation based on likelihood of success"

or, to sound less unethical:

  • "differential allocation of rehabilitation based on (differences in) expected need"
  • To the downvoters, tell me why you object to this. It's much clearer than "non-needs-based".
    – smci
    Apr 6, 2022 at 22:03
  • Perhaps if you can explain your answer, add more meat to the bones, it would be a good answer. As it is written, currently it does not meet the site requirements for good answers.
    – NVZ
    Apr 7, 2022 at 1:17
  • @NVZ: Be specific: this one doesn't need a citation, and I see nothing in How do I write a good answer? that it's not meeting. If you think it is, then tell me what.
    – smci
    Apr 7, 2022 at 1:23
  • @NVZ: I had already clearly explained it in the second paragraph. Tell me what's not clear about it, IYO.
    – smci
    Dec 16, 2022 at 4:58

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