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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
  • Sample size

    The number of participants included in a clinical trial. The sample size should be adequate to provide a high probability of detecting as significant an effect size of a given magnitude if such an effect actually exists. The achieved sample size is the number of participants enrolled, treated or analysed in the study.
  • School for Primary Care Research

    School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) is a partnership between nine leading academic centres for primary care research in England. The School aims to increase the evidence base for primary care practice through high quality research and strategic leadership, and to build capacity in primary care research.
  • School for Public Health Research

    School for Public Health Research (SPHR) is a partnership between eight leading academic centres of public health research in England. The School aims to build the evidence base for effective public health practice by bringing together England’s leading public health research expertise in one virtual organisation.
  • School for Social Care Research

    School for Social Care Research (SSCR) is a partnership between five leading academic centres for social care research in England. The School aims to develop the evidence base to inform and improve adult social care practice by commissioning and conducting world-class research.
  • Secondary outcome

    An outcome used to evaluate additional effects of an intervention deemed as being less important than the primary outcomes.
  • Secondary research

    A review of individual studies (each of which is called a primary study). A systematic review is a secondary study.
  • Service user

    A service user is someone who uses or has used health and/or social care services because of illness or disability. Some people do not like this term because they feel it has negative connotations.
  • Setting

    The research setting is the environment in which research is carried out. This could be a laboratory or a 'real' setting, such as the subject's working environment if you are conducting research into people's working lives.
  • Single technology appraisal

    A review of evidence on one specific treatment, usually carried out for policy customers such as NICE.
  • Social care

    Social care refers to a range of services provided across different settings, usually in the community. These include: home care, day care and residential care for older people; residential care and fostering for children; support for parents of disabled children; supporting mental health service users, physically disabled people and people with learning difficulties; and support for carers.
  • Social care research

    Social care research involves finding out new knowledge (or testing out existing ideas) to do with social care. For example, social care research might address questions about people’s experience of using different home care services or the best ways to train new foster parents.
  • SPCR

    School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) is a partnership between nine leading academic centres for primary care research in England. The School aims to increase the evidence base for primary care practice through high quality research and strategic leadership, and to build capacity in primary care research.
  • Specificity

    In screening / diagnostic tests this is a measure of a test’s ability to correctly identify people who do not have the disease.
  • SPHR

    School for Public Health Research (SPHR) is a partnership between eight leading academic centres of public health research in England. The School aims to build the evidence base for effective public health practice by bringing together England’s leading public health research expertise in one virtual organisation.
  • SRMRC

    Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMRC) brings both military and civilian trauma surgeons and scientists together in a partnership with the Ministry of Defence, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham.
  • SSCR

    School for Social Care Research (SSCR) is a partnership between five leading academic centres for social care research in England. The School aims to develop the evidence base to inform and improve adult social care practice by commissioning and conducting world-class research.
  • Statistical analysis

    Statistical analysis uses a set of mathematical rules to analyse quantitative data. It can help researchers decide what data means. For example, statistical analysis can assess whether any difference seen between two groups of people (for example between the groups of people in a clinical trial) is likely to be a reliable finding or simply due to chance.
  • Statistically significant

    A result that is unlikely to have happened by chance.
  • Statistics

    Statistics are a set of numbers (quantitative data) obtained through research. For example, the average age of a group of people, or the number of people using a service.
  • Sub-group analysis

    An analysis in which the intervention effect is evaluated in a defined subset of the participants in a trial, or in complementary subsets, such as sex or age.
  • Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre

    Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMRC) brings both military and civilian trauma surgeons and scientists together in a partnership with the Ministry of Defence, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham.
  • Survivor researcher

    Survivor is a term some people who have used health or social care services use to describe themselves – they see this as a more empowering term than ‘patient’ or ‘sufferer’. For example, some people who have used mental health services or who have experienced mental or emotional distress call themselves survivors of the psychiatric system. Some people who have recovered from cancer call themselves cancer survivors. If someone describes themselves as a survivor researcher, they are making a statement about the fact that they have used health or social care services as well as being a researcher.
  • Systematic review

    A review of a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyse data from the studies that are included in the review. Statistical methods (meta-analysis) may or may not be used to analyse and summarise the results of the included studies.
  • Systematic reviews programme

    The SR Programme comprises four different entities whose core business is creating evidence synthesis, systematic reviews,training or supporting the creation of research.