In association with

  • Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group Research and Evidence Team
  • West of England Academic Health Science Network
  • NIHR CLAHRC West

Glossary

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Sample

Participants of a study recruited from part of the study’s target population. If they are recruited in an unbiased way, the results from the sample can be generalised to the target population as a whole.

Sampling

The way participants are selected for inclusion in a study.

Sampling frame

A list or register of names used to recruit participants to a study.

SCIE

Social Care Institute for Excellence is an independent charity working with adults, families and social work services across the UK, including health care and housing. They gather and analyse knowledge about what works and translates it into practical resources, learning materials and services including training and consultancy.

Sensitivity

The proportion of people with disease who have a positive test.

Specificity

The proportion of people free of a disease who have a negative test.

SSRN

Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research and is composed of a number of specialized research networks in each of the social sciences.

Standard deviation

A measure used to summarise numerical data and describe how ‘spread-out’ a set of measures (or values) are from the average. For example, the average height of a group of schoolchildren can be calculated using the total of all their heights added together and then divided by the number of schoolchildren in the group. Standard deviation measures the ‘spread’ of those heights. So, in the example it tells you whether all those in the group were about the same height, or whether some were very tall and some were short.

Statistical power

The ability of a study to demonstrate an association or causal relationship between two variables (if an association exists) means that the study is statistically significant. The statistical power of a study is primarily related to the number of people included. If too few people are included, any differences in the outcomes will not be statistically significant.

Systematic review

The application of strategies that limit bias in the assembly, critical appraisal and synthesis of all relevant studies on a specific topic. Systematic reviews focus on peer-reviewed publications about a specific health problem and use rigorous, standardised methods for selecting and assessing articles. A systematic review differs from a meta-analysis in not including a quantitative summary of the results.