The NICE glossary provides brief definitions and explanations of terms used on the website. The terms describe how NICE works and how its guidance is produced.
Our glossary excludes specific clinical and medical terms. If you cannot find the term you are looking for, please email us so that we can consider adding it to the glossary.
Some definitions and examples are based on those in the HTAi consumer and patient glossary, with thanks to Health Technology Assessment International.
For terms used in social care, the Care and Support Jargon Buster from Think Local Act Personal is a useful guide to the most commonly used social care words and phrases, and what they mean.
The decision problem describes the proposed approach to be taken in a sponsor’s submission of evidence to answer the question in a scope. This includes the population, intervention, comparator(s), outcomes, cost analysis, subgroup analysis and any special considerations.
A technique used for reaching agreement on a particular issue, without the people involved meeting or interacting directly. It involves sending those involved a series of questionnaires asking their views. After completing each questionnaire, they are asked to give further views in the light of the group feedback until the group reaches a predetermined level of agreement.. The judgements of those involved may be analysed statistically. See also Consensus methods.
A group set up by NICE to develop guidelines in a particular area. Technical staff at the centres identify and review the evidence for a guideline, and recruit and manage the guideline committee for each guideline. There are 2 centres:
A piece of equipment used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, sometimes along with (a) pharmaceutical agent(s).
The independent committee that develops NICE's guidance on new medical technologies that can be used to help diagnose or investigate a disease or condition (diagnostics).
Focuses on the evaluation of innovative medical diagnostic technologies to make sure that the NHS is able to adopt clinically- and cost-effective technologies rapidly and consistently.
A report prepared by the external assessment group, based on a systematic review of the clinical and health economic literature, and modelling as appropriate to estimate health outcomes and cost effectiveness.
The diagnostics advisory committee's draft recommendations about using a diagnostic technology (or group of diagnostic technologies) in the NHS.
Costs and perhaps benefits incurred today have a higher value than costs and benefits occurring in the future. Discounting health benefits reflects individual preference for benefits to be experienced in the present rather than the future. Discounting costs reflects individual preference for costs to be experienced in the future rather than the present.
See Blinding or masking