Glossary

The NICE glossary provides brief definitions and explanations of terms and jargon used on our site. The terms describe how we work and how our guidance is produced.

Our glossary excludes specific clinical and medical terms although we intend to include these in the longer term. If you cannot find the term you are looking for, please email us so that we can consider adding it to the glossary. New terms are added regularly.

The glossary is not used for indexing the site or for navigation - for information on this, please see the NICE taxonomy.

Some definitions and examples are based on those in the ‘HTAi consumer and patient glossary’, with thanks to Health Technology Assessment International.

 

Manufacturer's submission

Information supplied by the manufacturer about a drug or other treatment that is being assessed in a technology appraisal. The information includes evidence about how well the treatment works, and its value for money.

Masking

See blinding.

Mass-media campaign

A communication plan that uses mass media to share messages with target audiences. It can include local, regional or national television, radio and newspapers, and leaflets and booklets. It can also include new media, such as the Internet or mobile phone. On the Internet, it can involve anything from real-time streaming of information and podcasts, to discussions with experts and the use of social networking sites. (An example of real-time streaming is the 'breaking news' text that appears along the bottom of the screen during some TV news programmes.) The aim of a mass-media campaign is to reach large numbers of people without relying on face-to-face contact.

Meta-analysis

A method often used in systematic reviews. Results from several studies of the same test or treatment are combined to estimate the overall effect of the treatment.

Methodological quality

The extent to which a study's research methods conformed to recognised good practice.

Methodology

Describes how research is done, including how information is collected and analysed, and why a particular method has been chosen.

The overall approach taken by a research project: for example, the study could be a randomised controlled trial of 200 people over 1 year.

Minded referral

A topic that the Department of Health has provisionally asked NICE to produce technology appraisal guidance on. We then do some work to check whether this is feasible - for example, finding out whether the drug will be licensed in time, or whether there is enough evidence - before the Department of Health decides whether to ask NICE to carry out an appraisal on the topic.

Morbidity rate

The number of cases of an illness, injury or condition within a given time (usually a year).

It can also refer to the percentage of people with a particular illness, injury or condition within a defined population.

Mortality rates

The proportion of a population that dies within a particular period of time. The rate is often given as a certain number per 1000 people.

Multi-centre study

Participants for the study are selected from different locations or populations. For example, from different hospitals or even different countries.

Multiple technology appraisal

A technology appraisal that assesses several drugs or treatments used to treat the same condition.

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This page was last updated: 15 April 2011

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Selected, reliable information for health and social care in one place

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.