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 hazard or chance of an event occurring in the treatment arm of a study as a ratio of the chance of an event occurring in the control arm over time.
The gap in health status and in access to health services between different groups, for example, those with different socioeconomic status or different ethnicity, or populations in different geographical areas. More information on health inequalities can be found on the Department of Health website. See also Health inequities.
Provides a systematic approach to the adoption of new health technologies that have had positive recommendations from NICE.
Independent research about the effectiveness, costs and broader impact of healthcare (treatments and tests) for those who plan, provide or receive care in the NHS.
A term used in meta-analyses and systematic reviews to describe when the results of a test or treatment (or estimates of its effect) differ significantly in different studies. Such differences may occur as a result of differences in the populations studied, the outcome measures used or because of different definitions of the variables involved. It is the opposite of homogeneity.
Study types organised in order of priority, based on the reliability (or lack of potential bias) of the conclusions that can be drawn from each type.
NICE guidance on the use of new and existing highly specialised medicines and treatments within the NHS in England.
Makes recommendations on the clinical and cost effectiveness of new and existing highly specialised medicines and treatments. It only considers drugs for very rare conditions.