Lexicon

Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.

A

abcess search for term

a localised collection of pus anywhere in the body, surrounded and walled off by damaged and inflamed tissues

Abdomino perianal resection search for term

(APR) Removal of the entire anus and rectum.

ablation search for term

The removal of tissue, a part of the body, or an abnormal growth, usually by cutting.

ABPI search for term

Ankle Brachial Pressure Index - The ratio of blood pressure at the ankle to that in the arm. This ratio provides a measure of the degree of arterial disease in the legs, where a value of 1.0 indicates that there is no reduction in blood supply to the legs, compared with the anus. A ratio of 0.9, 0.8, or lower indicates reduced blood supply to the lower limbs.

absolute risk search for term

Absolute risk measures the size of a risk in a person or group of people. This could be the risk of developing a disease over a certain period or it could be a measure of the effect of a treatment, for example how much the risk is reduced by treatment in a person or group. There are different ways of expressing absolute risk. For example, someone with a 1 in 10 risk of developing a certain disease has ‘a 10% risk’ or ‘a 0.1 risk’, depending on whether percentages or decimals are used. Absolute risk does not compare changes in risk between groups, for example risk changes in a treated group compared to risk changes in an untreated group. That is the function of relative risk.

absolute risk reduction search for term

The difference in the rate of outcomes between the control group of a study and the intervention group. For example, if 30% of people experience a serious event in the control group and 20% in the intervention group, the ARR is 10% (30%-20%).

abstract search for term

A brief, clearly structured summary of the main features and results of a study.

abutment search for term

A component of a dental bridge or implant.

access to information search for term

individual's rights to obtain and use information collected or generated by others.

Achromic fissuring search for term

Colourless cracks in the skin

Acne search for term

A disorder of the skin caused by inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles; found chiefly in adolescents and marked by pimples especially on the face

Acne vulgaris search for term

A chronic acne involving mainly the face, chest, and shoulders that is common in adolescent humans and is characterised by the intermittent formation of discrete papular or pustular lesions often resulting in considerable scarring

Acneiform papule search for term

A small bump on the skin resembling those seen in acne, which is not a blackhead or whitehead and which does not contain pus

acoustic neuroma search for term

also called VESTIBULAR SCHWANNOMA. Benign tumour growing from the fibrous covering of the auditory nerve (nerve carrying sound information to the brain).

Acrodermatitis continua of Hallopeau search for term

Nail disease partly resembling nail psoriasis

Acropustulosis keratotica search for term

Nail disease partly resembling nail psoriasis

Acute search for term

Sensing or perceiving accurately, clearly, effectively, or sensitively; characterized by sharpness or severity; having a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course.

acute search for term

Characterised by sharpness or severity; having a sudden onset, sharp rise and short course. Examples of acute wounds are traumatic and surgical wounds. (cf: chronic)

acute search for term

Depicting a severe but short-lived disease (or episodes of a disease) of swift onset

acute otitis media search for term

inflammation of the middle ear, usually due to bacterial or viral infection.

acute pain search for term

Pain of sudden onset, especially after surgery or injury, or associated with illness.

adenoids search for term

The collection of lymphatic tissue at the rear of the nose. Enlargement of the adenoids can cause obstruction to breathing through the nose.

adenoids search for term

collection of lymphatic tissue at the rear of the nose

adenoma search for term

A non-cancerous growth in the lining of the bowel which may progress to cancer. See also adenomatous polyp.

adentonsillectomy search for term

Surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids.

adjuvant therapy search for term

The addition of one or more therapies to aid the original treatment.

adrenaline search for term

A naturally occurring chemical produced in the body in response to stress. When given as a drug it causes increases in heart rate and blood pressure. Adrenaline is also used as a treatment for severe allergic reaction.

adverse effect search for term

A harmful or abnormal result. An adverse effect may be caused by administration of a medication or by exposure to a chemical and be indicated by an untoward result such as by illness or death.A harmful or abnormal result. An adverse effect may be caused by administration of a medication or by exposure to a chemical and be indicated by an untoward result such as by illness or death.

adverse effects search for term

Harmful or abnormal results. An adverse effect may be caused by administration of a medication or by exposure to a chemical and be indicated by an untoward result such as by illness or death.

aetiology search for term

the cause of a disease

Aetiology search for term

The underlying cause of diseases and disorders.

Aetiology search for term

The science of what causes disease

agnosia search for term

Dementia can cause people to see or hear things that are not there, but more often if a person talks about things that aren’t there it is because he has misinterpreted sights or sounds in the environment, such as shadows, mirrors, patterns on the
carpet, or noise from the television

airway search for term

The part of the body through which the air passes on its way to the lungs. The ‘upper airway’ usually refers to the mouth and throat as far down as the voice-box (larynx); the ‘lower airway’ refers to the air passages below the larynx. ‘Airway’ also refers to a tube placed through the mouth or nose to facilitate the free movement of air, oxygen, or anaesthetic gases.

Albumin search for term

A water-soluble protein found in blood, egg white, milk, etc. The concentration of albumin in the blood is one indicator of nutritional status.

alendronate search for term

Drug belonging to the biphosphonate group which has been successful in the treatment of osteoporosis by preventing bone loss and increasing bone density.

Alginate search for term

Substance derived from algic acid, found in seaweed, used in making dressings for wounds.

allele search for term

One of two or more alternative forms of a gene, only one of which can be present in a chromosome.

allergic crease search for term

crease across the bridge of the nose caused by allergic salute (a mannerism seen in allergy, where the nose is repeatedly pushed upward with the palm of the hand in an attempt to reduce nasal obstruction).

allergic salute search for term

mannerism seen in allergy. The nose is repeatedly pushed upwards with the palm of the hand in an attempt to reduce nasal obstruction.

allergic shiner search for term

bruised appearance on the skin under one or both eyes

allocation concealment search for term

This is a process used in studies that involve different groups receiving different interventions or treatment. Ideally, allocation to the different groups is done in such a way that the participants, and the health care providers, do not know which intervention the participant is to receive. The intention is to avoid bias during the allocation process so that the intervention and control groups are as similar as possible.

allodynia search for term

Extreme tenderness of the skin. It results from nerve damage causing hypersensitivity of the pain receptors in that area.

Alopecia search for term

Absence of hair from areas where it is normally present

Alopecia areata search for term

Loss of hair with no scarring to the affected area

Alopecia celsi search for term

An old term for alopecia areata (loss of hair with no scarring to the affected area ) still occasionally used

alveolar bone search for term

The bone that surrounds and supports the roots of the teeth.

Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale - Cognitive search for term

The Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS) of which one section is the ADAS Cog, evaluates cognitive functions affected in Alzheimer’s disease including memory, language and praxis. This 11-part test is more thorough than the MMSE and can be used for people with mild symptoms. It is a commonly used for brief examination of memory and language skills and is often used as a measure in clinical drug trials. It takes around 30 minutes and can be conducted by several members from the multidisciplinary team (such as a doctor, nurse, OT or psychologist)

Alzheimer's disease search for term

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. It was first described by the German neurologist Alois Alzheimer, is a physical disease affecting the brain. During the course of the disease, 'plaques' and 'tangles' develop in the structure of the brain, leading to the death of brain cells. People with Alzheimer's also have a shortage of some important chemicals in their brains. These chemicals are involved with the transmission of messages within the brain.

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, which means that gradually, over time, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, the symptoms become more severe. People in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease may experience lapses of memory and have problems finding the right words. As the disease progresses, they may:
• become confused, and frequently forget the names of people, places, appointments and recent events
• experience mood swings. They may feel sad or angry. They may feel scared and frustrated by their increasing memory loss
• become more withdrawn, due either to a loss of confidence or to communication problems.
As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer's will need more support from those who care for them. Eventually, they will need help with all their daily activities.
[adapted from Alzheimer’s Society website]

Alzheimer's Society search for term

The Alzheimer's Society is the UK's leading care and research charity for people with dementia and those who care for them. The Alzheimer's Society was formed back in 1979, when two people with extensive experience of caring for loved ones with dementia discussed the pressing need to raise awareness of dementia and to improve the quality of care, support and information for people with dementia and their carers.

This led to the creation of the 'Alzheimer's Disease Society'. and the first branches were established in Oxford and Bromley in 1980 and 1981 respectively. Through the eighties and nineties the Society continued to grow, with volunteer committees establishing branches across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. At the AGM in 1999 members of the Society agreed the change of name to 'Alzheimer's Society'.

By 2003 the Society was a £30million organisation, with over 250 branches across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Ambulant search for term

Able to walk.

ameloblastomas search for term

A locally malignant tumour in the jaw.

amelogenesis search for term

The formation of enamel (tissue teeth are made of) by ameloblasts, a process that is completed before tooth eruption.

amelogenesis imperfecta search for term

Hereditary condition resulting in the formation of imperfect enamel (the tissue teeth are made of).

anaesthesia search for term

Loss of sensation and usually of consciousness without loss of vital functions, artificially produced by the administration of one or more agents that block the passage of pain impulses along nerve pathways to the brain

anaesthesia search for term

The state of loss of sensation.

anaesthesiologist search for term

The person, usually a doctor, who administers the anaesthetic.

anaesthetic search for term

Drug or agent used to induce or maintain anaesthesia. Also used to refer to the state of anaesthesia.

anaesthetic search for term

A substance that produces anaesthesia

anaesthetic machine search for term

The equipment used to deliver the anaesthetic gases and to support the monitors and breathing systems used during anaesthesia.

anaesthetic record search for term

The written or computer generated record of the process and events of a particular anaesthetic. Details noted include drugs and doses; measurements such as heart rate and blood pressure; amount (or percentage) of oxygen delivered; fluids given and blood lost; and surgical events.

anaesthetic technician search for term

A trained health worker who assists the anaesthetist.

anaesthetist search for term

The person, usually a doctor, who administers the anaesthetic.

analgesia search for term

Insensibility (lack of awareness) to pain without loss of consciousness.

Analgesic search for term

A drug that relieves pain

analgesic search for term

Drug used to relieve pain.

Analgesic search for term

A substance that produces analgesia.

analysis search for term

Data analysis involves examining and processing research data, in order to answer the questions that the project is trying to address. It involves identifying patterns and drawing out the main themes, and is often done with specialist computer software.

anaphylactic search for term

Severe allergic reaction requiring immediate treatment. May be fatal.

anaphylactoid search for term

Severe allergic reaction requiring immediate treatment. May be fatal.

Androgenic search for term

Associated with an androgen (male hormone) dependency

anesthesia search for term

Loss of sensation and usually of consciousness without loss of vital functions, artificially produced by the administration of one or more agents that block the passage of pain impulses along nerve pathways to the brain

anesthesiologist search for term

The person, usually a doctor, who administers the anaesthetic.

anesthetic search for term

A substance that produces anaesthesia

Ankle Brachial Pressure Index search for term

(ABPI) The ratio of blood pressure at the ankle to that in the arm. This ratio provides a measure of the degree of arterial disease in the legs, where a value of 1.0 indicates that there is no reduction in blood supply to the legs, compared with the anus. A ratio of 0.9, 0.8, or lower indicates reduced blood supply to the lower limbs.

ankylosis search for term

Fusion of the bones across a joint space, either by bony tissue or by shortening of connecting fibrous tissue. Ankylosis is a complication of prolonged joint inflammation, as may occur in chronic infection or rheumatic disease.

anodontia search for term

Absence of the teeth because they have failed to develop.

Anosmia search for term

Loss of sense of smell

antagonist search for term

A drug the acts within the body to counteract the effect of another drug.

anterograde amnesia search for term

The short-term memory loss commonly associated with dementia

anti-emetic search for term

A drug that is used to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting.

anti-inflammatory search for term

Anti-inflammatory drugs are drugs that reduce inflammation. This includes substances produced by the body itself like cortisone. It also includes artificial substances like ASA – acetylsalicylic acid (or “aspirin”) or ibuprofen –, which relieve pain and reduce fever as well as reducing inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory search for term

A drug or treatment designed to reduce inflammation (i.e. redness, heat, swelling, etc).

Anticoagulant search for term

A drug that decreases the ability of the blood to clot. Blood clots (thromboses) in the veins can damage blood flow. If blood clots move through the circulation they can block the blood flow through a major blood vessel.

antigen search for term

Any substance that the body regards as foreign or potentially dangerous and against which it produces an antibody.

antigenic search for term

Adjective of 'antigen', which refers to any substance that the body regards as foreign or potentially dangerous and against which it produces an antibody.

Antimycobacterials search for term

Antibiotic drugs that are active against mycobacteria

antimycotic search for term

Antifungal; a drug that kills or inactivates fungi and is used to treat fungal (including yeast) infections.

antipyretic search for term

A drug that reduces fever.

apex search for term

(see periapical) The apex of a tooth is the tip of the root, where there is a small hole (the apical foramen) through which vessels and nerves pass from the pulp to the periapical tissues.

aphasia search for term

Also known as dysphasia, aphasia is impairment in communication. It's caused by damage to the part of the left side of the brain, which is responsible for language and communication.

aphonia search for term

absence or loss of voice due to a mechanical defect (for example, disease of larynx, mouth, nerves or muscles involved in speaking)

aphtha search for term

A small ulcer, occurring singly or in groups in the mouth as white or red spots.

aphthous search for term

Adjective of Aphtha, a small ulcer, singly or in groups in the mouth as white or red spots.

apicectomy search for term

The surgical removal of the apex (the tip) of the root of a tooth.

apnea search for term

cessation (ending) of respiration - as caused by certain drugs

apnoea search for term

cessation of breathing

apnoea search for term

Temporary cessation of breathing from any cause.

apnoea search for term

Cessation (ending) of respiration - as caused by certain drugs

apoptosis search for term

Programmed cell death which results in the ordered removal of cells.

appendicectomy search for term

Removal of the appendix (also referred as appendectomy)

appendicitis search for term

Inflammation of the appendix. Often associated with infection.

apraxia (or dyspraxia) search for term

Also referred to as dyspraxia, apraxia is neurological disorder characterized by loss of the ability to execute or carry out learned purposeful movements, despite having the desire and the physical ability to perform the movements.

Apthous ulcers search for term

The commonest type of mouth ulcers

aricept search for term

Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) is a cholinesterase inhibitor. It is produced by Eisai and co-marketed with Pfizer and was the first drug to be licensed in the UK specifically for Alzheimer's disease

ARR search for term

The difference in the rate of outcomes between the control group of a study and the intervention group. For example, if 30% of people experience a serious event in the control group and 20% in the intervention group, the ARR is 10% (30%-20%).

Arterial search for term

Of the artery (ies).

Arterial ulcer search for term

An area of skin loss (see ulcer, ischaemic ulcer), caused by insufficient arterial blood supply to the lower limb.

arthroscope search for term

A small fibre-optic probe used to look at the inside of joints.

asepsis search for term

The complete absence of bacteria, fungi, viruses, or other microorganisms that could cause disease. Asepsis is the ideal state for the performance of surgical operations.

aspiration search for term

The inhalation of stomach contents into the lungs.

assay search for term

A test or trial to determine the strength of a solution, the proportion of a compund in a mixture, the potency of a drug, or the purity of a preparation.

Atopic search for term

Inherited tendency to develop allergic reactions

Atopic march search for term

The atopic march refers to the natural history of allergic or atopic manifestations characterised by a typical sequence of clinical symptoms and conditions appearing during a certain age period and persisting over a number of years (Weinberg, EG. Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology, March 2005 Vol 18, No. 1)

atresia search for term

congenital absence (absent from from birth) or abnormal narrowing of a body opening

atrophy search for term

The wasting away of a normally developed organ or tissue due to degeneration of cells. This may occur through undernourishment, disuse, or ageing.

Atrophy search for term

Thinning (of the skin)

Attrition search for term

Gradual wearing down or shrinking. In the context of randomised trials, attrition relates to the loss of participants from a trial.

auditory search for term

referring to the ear or to the sense of hearing

auricular search for term

referring to the pinna (external part of the ear)

auscultation search for term

The process of listening usually with the aid of a stethoscope to sounds produced by movements of gas or liquid within the body.

Autoimmune disease search for term

A condition that occurs when the immune systems antibodies or T cells attack and damages healthy body tissue

Autosomal search for term

A non-sex chromosome. It is an ordinarily paired type of chromosome that is the same in both sexes of a species

avulsion search for term

The knocking out of a tooth by trauma. The tooth may be replanted.

awareness search for term

The state of being aware of events during general anaesthesia and surgery.

B

bacteraemia search for term

The presence of bacteria in the blood and a sign of infection.

Bacteria search for term

These simple micro-organisms are usually composed of a single cell. There are thousands of types of bacteria, both beneficial and harmful.

band search for term

The component of a fixed orthodontic appliance that is bonded to the tooth. Bands, metal rings that go round the teeth, are more commonly used on the back teeth (molars).

bar ear search for term

prominent ear

before and after study search for term

A before and after study measures particular characteristics of a population or group of individuals at the end of an event or intervention and compares them with those characteristics before the event or intervention. The study gauges the effects of the event or intervention.

benign search for term

Of a mild type or character that does not threaten health or life; having a good prognosis; responding favourably to treatment

benign search for term

describing a tumour that does not invade and destroy the tissue in which it originates or spread to distant sites in the body, i.e. a non-cancerous tumour

bias search for term

Any factor, recognised or not, that distorts the findings of a study.

binary variable search for term

A variable which can take only one of two possible values eg before or after, yes or no, dead or alive.

biopsy search for term

A piece of tissue removed from a part of the body for various tests and examination under a microscope.

blind search for term

A process where the participant, healthcare provider, or person assessing the outcomes (double blinding) are prevented from knowing which intervention the participant is receiving.

blinded search for term

A process where the participant, healthcare provider, or person assessing the outcomes (double blinding) are prevented from knowing which intervention the participant is receiving.

blinding search for term

Keeping group assignment secret (e.g. to treatment or control) from the study participants or investigators. A study may be single, double or triple blinded.

blinding search for term

A process where the participant, healthcare provider, or person assessing the outcomes (double blinding) are prevented from knowing which intervention the participant is receiving.

block anaesthesia search for term

Local anaesthesia (as by injection) produced by interruption of the flow of impulses along a nerve trunk

block anesthesia search for term

Local anaesthesia (as by injection) produced by interruption of the flow of impulses along a nerve trunk

bolus search for term

The administration of a drug, medication or other substance in the form of a single, large dose.

bone graft search for term

A healthy bone collected from the patient or from another person and used to fill a defect in a bone or as a stimulus to fracture healing.

bracket search for term

The component of a fixed orthodontic appliance that is bonded to the tooth. Brackets are usually attached to the front and side teeth.

branchial cyst search for term

a cyst in the neck arising due to a developmental anomaly

breathing system search for term

A series of hoses and chambers that contain and deliver the gas and vapour mixtures that are breathed by the patient during anaesthesia.

bridge search for term

A fixed prosthesis to replace one or more missing teeth, to restore the function, form or aesthetics of the mouth. It is also known as a fixed/non-removable partial denture. Bridges are supported and held in position by attachments to adjacent or remaining teeth [see Resin-bonded Bridges].

bronchoscopy search for term

The process of looking into parts of the upper airway (larynx) and the lung (trachea and air passages (bronchi) by means of a fibre-optic probe.

bronchus search for term

The major air passage of the lungs.

bruxism search for term

A habit where a person grinds their teeth, which can lead to excessive wear.

buccal root torque search for term

A force applied to the teeth to keep them upright whilst they are expanded during orthodontic treatment.

Bullous Eruptions search for term

Sudden appearance of blisters on the skin

bur search for term

A cutting drill that fits in a dentist's handpiece.

burning mouth syndrome search for term

A group of painful symptoms associated with a burning or similar sensation.

C

caecum search for term

Large, blind sac forming the beginning of the large intestine (colon) below the entrance of the small intestine (ileum).

caesarean section search for term

The operation to deliver a baby through the abdomen rather allow it to be born via the birth canal.

Café au lait macules search for term

Coffee coloured spots or patches that become apparent in early life

Calcaneal search for term

Refers to the heel bone

calculus search for term

A calcified deposit that forms on the surface of teeth. Cannot be removed by toothbrushing.

Calf-pump mechanism search for term

The action of the calf muscles upon walking or ankle flexion, which results in venous blood being pumped back towards the heart.

callous search for term

A hard, thick area of skin or tissue

callus search for term

A hard, thick area of skin or tissue

candidiasis search for term

A fungal infection of the mouth characterised by white patches on the tongue or inside the cheeks.

cannula search for term

Sometimes called a catheter. A short hollow plastic tube that can be placed into a blood vessel for sampling blooding or giving fluid or drugs directly into the bloodstream.

cannulae search for term

Sometimes called a catheter. A short hollow plastic tube that can be placed into a blood vessel for sampling blooding or giving fluid or drugs directly into the bloodstream.

carcinogen search for term

An agent (substance) or action that may cause cancer.

cardiac search for term

Usually relating to, situated near, or acting on the heart. Less commonly, relating to the cardia of the stomach.

cardiologist search for term

A doctor who specialises in diseases of the heart.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation search for term

Also known as CPR - A procedure designed to restore normal breathing after cardiac arrest that includes the clearance of air passages to the lungs, the mouth-to-mouth method of artificial respiration, and heart massage by the exertion of pressure on the chest

cardiovascular search for term

Of, relating to, or involving the heart and blood vessels

cardioversion search for term

Application of an electric shock in order to restore normal heartbeat

carer search for term

A carer is a relative, friend or partner who provides (or intends to provide, or used to provide) a substantial amount of care to another person on a regular basis, but not necessarily through living with them.

case crossover studies search for term

Case crossover studies look at the effects of factors that are thought to increase the risk of a particular outcome in the short term. For example, this type of study might be used to look at the effects of changes in air pollution levels on the short-term risk of asthma attacks. Individuals who have had the outcome of interest are identified and act as their own control.
The presence or absence of the risk factor is assessed for the period immediately before the individual experienced the outcome. This is compared with the presence or absence of the risk factor when the individual did not experience the outcome (control period). If there is a link between the risk factor and the outcome, it would be expected to have been present in the period just before the outcome more often than in the control period.

case series search for term

A case series is a descriptive study of a group of people, who usually receive the same treatment or who have the same disease. This type of study can describe characteristics or outcomes in a particular group of people, but cannot determine how they compare with people who are treated differently or who do not have the condition.

case-control study search for term

A case-control study is an epidemiological study that is often used to identify risk factors for a medical condition. This type of study compares a group of patients who have that condition with a group of patients that do not have it, and looks back in time to see how the characteristics of the two groups differ.

cataract search for term

A change in the lens of the eye where the lens becomes opaque.

catheter search for term

Hollow tube inserted into blood vessels, passageways or body cavities, usually to permit injection or withdrawal of fluids, or to keep a passage open, e.g. intravenous catheter, urinary catheter.

catheter search for term

A tubular medical device for insertion into canals, vessels, passageways, or body cavities usually to permit injection or withdrawal of fluids or to keep a passage open

caudal search for term

A type of epidural anaesthetic, but restricted to the lower end of the spinal cord.

Causation pathway search for term

Known contributory causes

cautery search for term

To destroy tissues by direct application of a heated instrument.

cecum search for term

Large, blind sac forming the beginning of the large intestine (colon) below the entrance of the small intestine (ileum).

cerumen search for term

ear wax

cervical lymphadenopathy search for term

swelling of the lymph nodes (glands) in the neck

CFU search for term

Colony forming Units: A unit of measurement of groups of bacteria; one swab may contain millions of CFUs.

characteristics of a study search for term

Identifying features of a healthcare study that can be assessed to give a measure of its quality. These include the design of the study, participants, setting, interventions used, and the outcomes monitored and follow-up of the people who were initially assigned to the study.

chart search for term

The files or records of a patient’s admissions and treatment provided by a particular hospital.

Chilblain search for term

Redness, itching, and burning of the skin, especially the fingers, toes, heels, nose, and ears on exposure to extreme cold and high humidity. Skin lesions may become blistered and or ulcerated

chloroform search for term

One of the earliest anaesthetic agents, used as a vapour and having a sweet smell. It has a high risk of severe side-effects and death.

Chondrodysplasia punctata search for term

A hereditary disorder in infants and young children which causes stunted growth due to a skeletal abnormality

chronic search for term

Marked by long duration, by frequent recurrence over a long time, and often by slowly progressing seriousness; not acute; having a slow progressive course of indefinite duration

Chronic search for term

Marked by long duration, by frequent recurrence over a long time, and often by slowly progressing deterioration; having a slow progressive course of indefinite duration. Examples of chronic wounds are pressure ulcers, leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers. (cf: acute).

Chronic search for term

Depicting a frequently-recurring disease of slow progression and long duration

chronic pain search for term

Pain that persists for a long time, usually more than two or three months.

chronic suppurative otitis media search for term

chronic inflammation of the middle ear associated with perforations (holes) of the eardrum.

CI search for term

A confidence interval (CI) expresses the precision of an estimate and is often presented alongside the results of a study (usually the 95% confidence interval). The CI shows the range within which we are confident that the true result from a population will lie 95% of the time. The narrower the interval, the more precise the estimate. There is bound to be some uncertainty in estimates because studies are conducted on samples and not entire populations.
By convention, 95% certainty is considered high enough for researchers to draw conclusions that can be generalised from samples to populations. If we are comparing two groups using relative measures, such as relative risks or odds ratios, and see that the 95% CI includes the value of one in its range, we can say that there is no difference between the groups. This confidence interval tells us that, at least some of the time, the ratio of effects between the groups is one. Similarly, if an absolute measure of effect, such as a difference in means between groups, has a 95% CI that includes zero in its range, we can conclude there is no difference between the groups.

circuit search for term

The breathing system: A series of hoses and chambers that contain and deliver the gas and vapour mixtures that are breathed by the patient during anaesthesia.

claudication search for term

A cramping pain, especially in the leg, caused by arterial obstruction or narrowing.

cleft lip search for term

An opening in the upper lip between the mouth and the nose, it can range from a slight notch in the coloured portion of the lip to complete seperation in one or both sides of the kip extending up and into the nose.

cleft palate search for term

The roof of the mouth is not joined completely, this can range from just an opening at the back of the soft palate to a nearly complete seperation of the roof of the mouth (soft and hard palate).

clinical practice guidelines search for term

Clinical practice guidelines are statements that are developed to help practitioners and patients make decisions about the appropriate healthcare for specific clinical circumstances.

clinical trial search for term

Clinical trials are research studies involving people who use services, which compare a new or different type of treatment with the best treatment currently available. They test whether the new or different treatment is safe, effective and any better than what already exists. No matter how promising a new treatment may appear during tests in a laboratory, it must go through clinical trials before its benefits and risks can really be known.

clock drawing test search for term

It is a simple bedside test that is independent of bias due to intellect, language or cultural factors. The clock drawing test does not detect early cognitive changes or discriminate between types of dementia raising questions about its suitability to be used in isolation.

There are a number of alternative ways of administering and scoring the CDT, such as those described by, Shulman (1993), Sunderland (1989) and Wolf-Klein (1989). Of these, the Shulman method has been found to be the most sensitive and specific screening test for mild-moderate dementia when used in conjunction with MMSE.

In the Shulman method, subjects are asked to add the numbers of a clock-face on to a pre-drawn circle and to mark in the hands to resemble a specified time. Results are scored as follows:

a perfect clock
mild visuospatial errors
errors in denoting the specified time
moderate visuospatial disorganisation
severe visuospatial disorganisation
no reasonable representation of a clock

www.neurosurvival.ca/ClinicalAssistant/scales/clock_drawing_test.htm

Closed comedone search for term

'Whitehead' ie a blocked pore with its opening not visible

Closure method search for term

Method of closing a surgical incision, e.g. using stitches (sutures), glue or staples.

cluster randomised controlled trial search for term

In a cluster randomised controlled trial, people are randomised in groups (clusters), rather than individually. Examples of clusters that could be used include schools, neighbourhoods or GP surgeries.

Cobblestoning search for term

Changes in skin texture that give the appearance of cobblestones

cochlea search for term

the sensory organ for hearing which lies in the temporal bone in the inner ear

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews search for term

One of the databases in The Cochrane Library. It brings together all the currently available reviews and protocols for Cochrane Reviews. It is updated quarterly, and is available via the Internet and CD-ROM.

Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group search for term

A registered collaborative review group of the Cochrane Collaboration, dedicated to producing systematic reviews about interventions to prevent or treat dementia, and also reviews of diagnostic test accuracy in dementia

cognitive (abilities) search for term

Cognitive abilities are the brain-based skills and mental processes that are needed to carry out any task -from the simplest to the most complex. Every task can be broken down into the different cognitive skills that are needed to complete that task successfully.

cognitive assessment/screening tests search for term

Also known as paper and pencil tests. These type of tests cannot diagnose dementia as they test limited domains of cognition. They can be useful in identifying someone needing further investigation and are also useful if done serially to map any change in cognition over time.

The most common are Mini-mental Status Examination (MMSE), Clock Draw and GPCOG, Geriatric Depression Scale, IQCODE, Frontal Assessment Battery, and Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale cognitive sub-scale (ADAS-Cog)

cognitive behavioural therapy search for term

A form of psychotherapy based on the belief that psychological problems are the products of faulty ways of thinking about the world.

cognitive enhancement search for term

Refers to studies that have used an intervention that may improve mental function in areas such as: cognition, memory, concentration

cohort search for term

A population group identified for study. They are clearly defined by factors such as the region in which they live, or the likelihood of an event. This term can also be used to describe a study type ie a cohort study.

cohort study search for term

This study identifies a group of people and follows them over a period of time to see how their exposures affect their outcomes. This type of study is normally used to look at the effect of suspected risk factors that cannot be controlled experimentally, for example the effect of smoking on lung cancer.

collagen search for term

A protein found throughout the body, including the skin.

Collodion baby search for term

A newborn baby with a tight, shiny skin that can be present due to various ichthyoses

colon search for term

The large bowel (extending from the end of the small intestine to the rectum), excluding the rectum and anus.

colonic mucosa search for term

The internal lining or surface of the intestines.

Colony forming units search for term

(CFU) A unit of measurement of groups of bacteria; one swab may contain millions of CFUs.

colostomy search for term

The result of an operation, usually for bowel cancer, in which the lower end of the bowel is relocated to an artificial opening on the front of the abdomen. Faeces are collected into a special plastic bag and emptied as necessary.

Comedone search for term

Blocked pore

comminuted fracture search for term

A fracture in which the bone is broken into more than two pieces. A crushing force is usually responsible and there is often extensive injury to surrounding soft tissues.

comminution search for term

A fracture in which the bone is broken into more than two pieces. A crushing force is usually responsible and there is often extensive injury to surrounding soft tissues.

communication search for term

the exchange or transmission of ideas, attitudes, or beliefs between individuals or groups.

composite resin search for term

A tooth coloured filling material for teeth.

Compression therapy search for term

The application of external pressure to a limb, to help venous blood or lymph circulation. Compression can be applied using bandages, elastic stockings or inflatable sleeves.

concealment of allocation search for term

This is a process used in studies that involve different groups receiving different interventions or treatment. Ideally, allocation to the different groups is done in such a way that the participants, and the health care providers, do not know which intervention the participant is to receive. The intention is to avoid bias during the allocation process so that the intervention and control groups are as similar as possible.

conductive hearing loss search for term

hearing loss due to a defect in the mechanical structures transmitting sound to the inner ear

confidence interval search for term

(or 'CI) The range within which the true size of effect of a treatment or intervention is found (never exactly known) with a given
degree of assurance. A 95 percent confidence interval is the interval which includes the true value in 95 percent of cases

confidence intervals search for term

A confidence interval (CI) expresses the precision of an estimate and is often presented alongside the results of a study (usually the 95% confidence interval). The CI shows the range within which we are confident that the true result from a population will lie 95% of the time. The narrower the interval, the more precise the estimate. There is bound to be some uncertainty in estimates because studies are conducted on samples and not entire populations.
By convention, 95% certainty is considered high enough for researchers to draw conclusions that can be generalised from samples to populations. If we are comparing two groups using relative measures, such as relative risks or odds ratios, and see that the 95% CI includes the value of one in its range, we can say that there is no difference between the groups. This confidence interval tells us that, at least some of the time, the ratio of effects between the groups is one. Similarly, if an absolute measure of effect, such as a difference in means between groups, has a 95% CI that includes zero in its range, we can conclude there is no difference between the groups.

confounder search for term

A confounder can distort the true relationship between two (or more) characteristics. When it is not taken into account, false conclusions can be drawn about associations. An example is to conclude that if people who carry a lighter are more likely to develop lung cancer, it is because carrying a lighter causes lung cancer. In fact, smoking is a confounder here. People who carry a lighter are more likely to be smokers and smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer.

confounding factor search for term

A factor to consider when looking at the association between exposure to a cause (or risk factor) and the occurrence of disease. Age groups and sex are common confounding factors as they may be associated with some exposures. Further, the more likely he or she is to develop certain diseases.

confounding factor search for term

A confounder can distort the true relationship between two (or more) characteristics. When it is not taken into account, false conclusions can be drawn about associations. An example is to conclude that if people who carry a lighter are more likely to develop lung cancer, it is because carrying a lighter causes lung cancer. In fact, smoking is a confounder here. People who carry a lighter are more likely to be smokers and smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer.

congenital search for term

Used to describe a condition that is recognised at birth or that it is believed to have been present since birth.

congenital search for term

from birth

consumer search for term

The term consumer is used to refer collectively to:
• people who use services
• carers
• organisations representing consumers’ interests
• members of the public who are the potential recipients of services
• groups asking for research to promote good health or because they believe they have been exposed to potentially harmful circumstances, products or services.

consumer participation search for term

community or individual involvement in the decision making process

control search for term

The group in a study that does not receive the intervention that is being investigated. Controls may receive no intervention, a placebo, a commonly used treatment for that condition, or only a part of an intervention.

control group search for term

A control group (of cells, individuals or centres, for example) serves as a basis of comparison in a study. In this group, no experimental stimulus is received.

controlled clinical trial search for term

(CCT) A study which compares one or more intervention groups to one or more comparison groups. While not all CCT's are randomised (see definition) all randomised trials are controlled.

controlled trial search for term

An intervention trial in which a group given the intervention under study is compared to a control group which does not receive the intervention.

Corticosteroids search for term

Synthetic glucocorticoids (similar to hormones) used to treat atopic eczema among other diseases to suppress inflammation, allergy and immune responses

corticotomy search for term

A cut through the outer hard shell of a bone that completely encircles it but does not sever the internal blood supplies.

cosmesis search for term

Considerations relating to cosmetic outcomes.

cosmetic outcome search for term

An outcome serving or designed to have an acceptable appearance or to beautify the body.

cost-benefit analysis search for term

A cost-benefit analysis is an evaluation which places a monetary value on benefits or outcomes. The costs and benefits are often expressed in dollar terms and examined to find out whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

cost-effectiveness search for term

Cost-effectiveness analysis is a comparative technique. Two or more health programmes, or programme options, are compared in terms of the cost per unit of output (eg, cost per cancer detected) or cost per unit of outcome (eg, cost per life saved, cost per year of life saved, cost per quality-adjusted year of life saved). Rarely described in randomized studies.

coverage search for term

The proportion of all eligible people examined by a programme, calculated as the total number examined divided by the number of those who are eligible by age and domicile.

CPR search for term

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation - A procedure designed to restore normal breathing after cardiac arrest that includes the clearance of air passages to the lungs, the mouth-to-mouth method of artificial respiration, and heart massage by the exertion of pressure on the chest

Cradle cap search for term

A form of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp in infants that is characterised by flaky or scaly skin which may be reddened. May involve the skin on the nose, eyebrows, scalp, ears, and skin of the trunk (in skin folds)

cranial search for term

referring to the skull

cranial nerve search for term

one of 12 pairs of nerves arising directly from the brain and leaving the skull through separate openings

crepitus search for term

A crackling sound or grating feeling produced by bone rubbing on bone or roughened cartilage, detected on movement of an arthritic joint.

crest search for term

A ridge or linear protuberance (bump) particularly on a bone.

cricoid pressure search for term

External pressure applied to the cricoid cartilage of the windpipe or trachea in order to compress the oesophagus and minimise the chance of regurgitation.

critical search for term

Relating to, indicating, or being the stage of a disease at which an abrupt change for better or worse may be anticipated with reasonable certainty; being or relating to an illness or condition involving danger of death

cross sectional study search for term

This is an epidemiological study that describes characteristics of a population. It is ‘cross sectional’ because data is collected at one point in time and the relationships between characteristics are considered. Importantly, because this study doesn’t look at time trends, it can’t establish what causes what.

crossover study search for term

A healthcare study in which each participant receives the control (no treatment) and the experimental treatment during different time periods.

croup search for term

acute inflammation and obstruction of the respiratory tract (larynx and main air passages) in young children, usually caused by viral infection

crown search for term

A dental restoration that covers most or all of the natural crown.

Cryotherapy search for term

The use of cold as a surgical treatment, commonly with either carbon dioxide snow or liquid nitrogen

Cryotherapy search for term

The use of cold in the treatment of disorders.

CT scan search for term

A specialised X-ray which produces multiple images taken from a 360-degree circle. The patient is required to lie still in the centre of the scanner for several minutes.

CT scanning search for term

A computerized radiographic technique which allows a picture of structures in a selected plane of tissue or other material.

curettage search for term

Scraping of the skin or the internal surface of an organ or body cavity by means of a spoon-shaped instrument to remove diseased tissue.

Curettage and cautery search for term

Where tumour is scraped off and the wound sealed with a small electrical current to stop bleeding and destroy remaining cancer cells

cusp search for term

Any of the cone-shaped prominences on teeth, especially the molars and premolars.

Cutaneous search for term

Relating to the skin

cyanoacrylate search for term

An adhesive, derivative of cyanide, used in wound therapy, e.g. to join the edges of skin incisions.

cyst search for term

an abnormal sac or closed cavity filled with liquid or semi-solid matter

cytotoxic search for term

Describing a drug that damages or destroys cells and is used to treat various types of cancer, either with or without the use of radiotherapy.

Cytotoxin search for term

A poison that destroys the cells it is administered for. Could be formed by an infective organism or administered as a drug (see chemotherapy).

D

Dandruff search for term

Dried skin that flakes free from the scalp

data search for term

Data is the information collected through research. It can include written information, numbers, sounds and pictures. It is usually stored on computer, so that it can be analysed, interpreted and then communicated to others, for example in reports, graphs or diagrams.

De novo search for term

New; not pre-existing

Debridement search for term

The process of cleaning an open wound by removal of foreign material and dead tissue so that healing may occur without hindrance. In dentistry, it refers to the necessary removal of plaque and calculus that have accumulated on the teeth in order to maintain oral health.

Debridement search for term

The removal of foreign material and dead or damaged tissue from a wound.

decalcification search for term

Loss or removal of calcium salts from a bone or tooth.

Decoction search for term

The liquid resulting from boiling a substance in water to extract the essence, e.g. herb tea

deep vein thrombosis search for term

Clotting and inflammation of the veins, usually in the calves of the legs. There is a risk that some of the clot may dislodge and travel in the bloodstream back to the heart and lungs, where it may cause major blockage of the blood flow. DVT is more common in the elderly, females, smokers, obese patients, and those having major surgery for cancer. Prevention is mainly by the use of anti-clotting agents and having the patent get out of bed and start walking around as soon as possible after the operation.

dehiscence search for term

A splitting open of a wound.

dementia search for term

Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) that is associated with a progressive decline in mental functions and abilities. For example:
• memory,
• thinking,
• language,
• understanding, and
• judgement.
People with dementia may also have problems controlling their emotions, experience changes in their personality, and behave inappropriately in social situations. Most cases of dementia are caused by damage to the structure of the brain.
How common is dementia?
Dementia is a common condition. For example, in England, there are currently over half a million people living with dementia, and that number is expected to double over the next 30 years. Most cases of dementia develop in people who are 65 years of age, or over. You are also more likely to develop dementia the older you are.
Types of dementia
There are many different types of dementia. The most common types of dementia
are listed below.
• Alzheimer's disease -where small clumps of protein, known as plaques, begin to develop around brain cells, disrupting the normal workings of the brain.
• Vascular dementia -where underlying problems with blood circulation result in parts of the brain not receiving enough blood and oxygen.
• Dementia with Lewy bodies -where abnormal structures, known as Lewy bodies, begin to develop inside the brain.
• Frontotemporal dementia -where parts of the brain, known as the frontal and temporal lobes, begin to shrink. Unlike other types of dementia, frontotemporal dementia usually develops in people who are under 65.
years of age. It is also much rarer than other types of dementia.

dementia with Lewy bodies search for term

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a form of dementia that shares characteristics with both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. It accounts for around four per cent of all cases of dementia in older people. Dementia with Lewy bodies is sometimes referred to by other names, including Lewy body dementia, Lewy body variant of Alzheimer's disease, diffuse Lewy body disease, cortical Lewy body disease and senile dementia of Lewy body type. All these terms refer to the same disorder. This factsheet outlines the symptoms of DLB, how it is diagnosed and how it is treated. DLB appears to affect men and women equally. As with all forms of dementia, it is more prevalent in people over the age of 65. However, in certain rare cases people under 65 may develop DLB.
• They may experience problems with attention and alertness, often have spatial disorientation and experience difficulty with 'executive function', which includes difficulty in planning ahead and co-ordinating mental activities. Although memory is often affected, it is typically less so than in Alzheimer's disease.
• They may also develop the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including slowness, muscle stiffness, trembling of the limbs, a tendency to shuffle when walking, loss of facial expression, and changes in the strength and
tone of the voice.
There are also symptoms that are characteristic of DLB. In addition to the symptoms above, a person with DLB may:
• experience detailed and convincing visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not there), often of people or animals
• find that their abilities fluctuate daily, or even hourly
• fall asleep very easily by day, and have restless, disturbed nights with confusion, nightmares and hallucinations
• faint, fall, or have 'funny turns'.
[adapted from Alzheimer’s Society website]

dental caries search for term

(Or dental decay) Softening and disintegration of the hard tissues of the tooth caused by the metabolism of sugars by bacteria in plaque attached to the surface of the tooth.

dental decay search for term

Softening and disintegration of the hard tissues of the tooth caused by the metabolism of sugars by bacteria in plaque attached to the surface of the tooth.

dental hypoplasia search for term

The defective formation of parts of the tooth due to illnesses such as measles or starvation while the tooth is being formed. It is marked by transverse lines of brown defective enamel, which define the date of the illness.

dentifrice search for term

toothpaste; a paste or powder for cleaning the teeth.

dentine hypersensitivity search for term

Pain arising from exposed dentine (the calcified organic tissue of the tooth, usually covered by the harder outer enamel layer), typically in response to external stimuli (such as hot or cold foods or drinks or cold air), and which cannot be explained by any other form of dental disease.

dentinogensis imperfecta search for term

Hereditary condition in which the dentine (the inner calcified organic tissue of the tooth) formation is disturbed; this may result in loss of underlying enamel and excessive wear of the dentine.

denture search for term

A removable replacement for one or more teeth carried on some form of plate or frame.

Dermatitis search for term

Itchy skin condition characterised by ill-defined red patches

Dermatology search for term

Medical speciality concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases

Dermatomyositis search for term

Weakness and inflammation of muscles associated with a purplish skin rash

Dermatophyte search for term

A fungus that can infect dead skin and nails

Dermatoses search for term

A skin disease or a wound on the skin

dermis search for term

The deep inner layer of the skin, beneath the epidermis, containing connective tissue, blood vessels and fat.

Desquamation search for term

Peeling/scaling of the skin

detection rate search for term

The proportion of people with cancers detected within the screened population, calculated by the number with cancer diagnosed by screening divided by the total number of people screened.

detine search for term

The calcified organic tissue of the tooth, surrounding the pulp chamber, and covered by enamel (on the crown of the tooth) or cementum (on the root of the tooth).

Diabetic ulcer search for term

An area of skin loss (see ulcer) resulting from poor blood supply and/or reduced nerve function in the lower limb caused by diabetes mellitus.

diagnostic study search for term

A diagnostic study tests a new diagnostic method to see if it is as good as the ‘gold standard’ method of diagnosing a disease. The diagnostic method may be used when people are suspected of having a disease because of signs and symptoms, or to try and detect a disease before any symptoms have developed (a screening method).

diathermy search for term

(surgery) the use of high-frequency electrical current to cut and cauterise tissue

Diathesis search for term

A greater predisposition to particular diseases

dichotomous search for term

A variable which can take one of two possible values.

diplopia search for term

Double vision: the simultaneous awareness of two images of the one object.

disclosure search for term

revealing of information by oral or written communication.

disorientation search for term

A state of confusion or inability to know where one is, what the time is, and even who one is.

dissemination search for term

The spreading or distribution of a disease throughout and organ, system or the whole body.

dissemination search for term

Dissemination involves communicating the findings of a research project to a wide range of people who might find it useful. This can be done through:
• producing reports (often these are made available on the Internet)
• publishing articles in journals or newsletters
• issuing press releases
• giving talks at conferences.
It is also important to feedback the findings of research to research participants.

distal search for term

DISTAL
Situated away from the centre of the body or point of origin. Distal surface: the surface most distant from the

distal search for term

Situated away from the centre of the body, or point of attachment if proximal.

distal portion of the nail search for term

Mid area of the nail (as opposed to proximal which refers to the nail bed)

Diurnal variation search for term

Variation during the day, or daily.

donor site search for term

When significant areas of skin are damaged, for example in burns, then a skin graft is one treatment. The skin graft is taken from an area of healthy skin, e.g. the thigh or stomach and the acute wound caused is called the donor site.

double blind search for term

Term used to describe a study in which both the investigator or the participant are unaware of the nature of the treatment the participant is receiving. Double-blind trials are thought to produce objective results, since the expectations of the researcher and the participant about the experimental treatment such as a drug do not affect the outcome.

Drainage search for term

Removal of exudate (q.v.) from a wound.

drapes search for term

Pieces of fabric or plasticised film, used to isolate a surgical site.

droperidol search for term

A drug used to reduce the chances of nausea and vomiting. Droperidol may also cause some unpleasant psychological reactions.

drug treatments for Alzheimer's disease search for term

There are two main types of drugs used to treat Alzheimer's disease. Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl all work in a similar way, and are known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Ebixa works in a different way to the other three.
• Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride), produced by Eisai and co-marketed with Pfizer, was the first drug to be licensed in the UK specifically for Alzheimer's disease.
• Exelon (rivastigmine), produced by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, was the second drug licensed in the UK specifically for Alzheimer's disease.
• Reminyl (galantamine) was co-developed by Shire Pharmaceuticals and the Janssen Research Foundation. Originally derived from the bulbs of snowdrops and narcissi, it was the third drug licensed in the UK specifically
for Alzheimer's disease.
• Ebixa (memantine) is produced by Merz and marketed in Europe by Lundbeck. It is the newest of the Alzheimer's drugs.

DVT search for term

Clotting and inflammation of the veins, usually in the calves of the legs. There is a risk that some of the clot may dislodge and travel in the bloodstream back to the heart and lungs, where it may cause major blockage of the blood flow. DVT is more common in the elderly, females, smokers, obese patients, and those having major surgery for cancer. Prevention is mainly by the use of anti-clotting agents and having the patent get out of bed and start walking around as soon as possible after the operation.

Dyschromia search for term

Any abnormality in the pigmentation of the skin

dysesthesia search for term

Impairment of sensation, especially that of touch.

dysgeusia search for term

Taste disturbance.

dysgnathia search for term

An abnormality of the mouth that extends beyond the teeth and includes the maxilla (upper jaw), mandible (lower jaw) or both.

Dyshidrotic search for term

Abnormally wet or dry

dysmasesia search for term

Difficulty in chewing.

dysphagia search for term

A condition in which the action of swallowing is either difficult to perform and/or painful.

dysphasia search for term

Dysphasia, or aphasia, is impairment in communication. It's caused by damage to the part of the left side of the brain, which is responsible for language and communication.

dysphonia search for term

difficulty in voice production due to mechanical or psychological reasons

dysphonia search for term

Difficulty in voice production.

dysphoria search for term

An unpleasant psychological reaction.

dysplasia search for term

Abnormal development of the skin, bone or other tissues.

Dysplasia search for term

Abnormal tissue development

dyspnea search for term

Difficult or laboured respiration (breathing)

dyspnoea search for term

Difficult or laboured respiration

Dystrophic search for term

Disordered growth

dystrophy search for term

Impaired nourishment of an organ or part of the body; disordered growth.

E

Ebixa (Memantine) search for term

Ebixa (memantine) is produced by Merz and marketed in Europe by Lundbeck. It is the newest of the Alzheimer's drugs.

EBM search for term

Abbreviation for Evidence Based Medicine.

ecchymosis search for term

A bruise: an initially bluish-black mark on the skin, resulting from the release of blood into the tissues either through injury or through the spontaneous leaking of blood from the vessels (as in some blood diseases).

ECG search for term

A monitor that measures the small electrical impulses from the heart and displays them on a screen.

ecological studies search for term

In ecological studies, the unit of observation is the population or community. Common types of ecological study are geographical comparisons, time trend analysis or studies of migration.

Ectodermic dysplasia search for term

An inherited disorder characterised by defective hair and nails and a coarsening of the skin of the palms and the soles

Eczema search for term

Itchy skin condition characterised by ill-defined red patches

edema search for term

An abnormal excess accumulation of serous fluid in connective tissue

edema search for term

Swelling. An abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin, or in one or more of the cavities of the body

edentulous search for term

Lacking teeth; usually applied to people who have lost some or all of their teeth.

education search for term

acquisition of knowledge as a result of instruction in a formal course of study.

effectiveness search for term

The extent to which a specific intervention, procedure, regimen or service, produces for a defined population.

effectiveness search for term

The ability of an intervention to produce a desired effect in an individual.

efficacy search for term

The extent to which a specific intervention, procedure, regimen or service produces a beneficial result under ideal conditions, e.g. the determination of efficacy of CRC screening is based on the results of a randomised controlled trial (with CRC mortality as the outcome measure).

efficacy search for term

The ability of an intervention to produce a desired effect in a controlled study.

EKG search for term

A monitor that measures the small electrical impulses from the heart and displays them on a screen.

elective search for term

Not urgent (when referring to surgery).

electrocardiograph search for term

A monitor that measures the small electrical impulses from the heart and displays them on a screen.

electroconvulsive therapy search for term

The treatment of mental disorder and especially depression by the induction of unconsciousness and convulsions through the use of an electric current, now usually on an anaesthetized patient

electrotherapy search for term

The application of electrical energy to help a wound or impaired function. A number of types of electrotherapy are used in wound management.

eligibility criteria search for term

The criteria that are clearly set out beforehand to define whether a potential participant is eligible to enter a study. In the Cochrane context, this term refers to the criteria that are clearly set out beforehand to define whether a study meets the requirements for inclusion in a systematic review.

EMBASE search for term

A European based electronic database (Excerpta Medica) listing health and medical publications in the medical literature.

embolism search for term

The condition in which an embolus (material such as blood clot, fat, air etc) becomes lodged in an artery and obstructs its blood flow.

emergence search for term

The phase of anaesthesia during which patients ‘emerge’ from the anaesthetised state to regain at least some control over their functions. After emergence, patients are transferred to a special area where continued recovery occurs under the care of a nurse, as delegated by the anaesthetist.

emergency search for term

Requiring urgent attention to avoid the risk of damage of death to the patient or body part.

emergency medicine search for term

The care and treatment of acutely ill or injured patients who need immediate medical attention

Emollients search for term

Skin moisturisers used in the management of many dry skin problems including atopic eczema

enamel search for term

Hard outer covering of the anatomical crown of a tooth, consisting of highly calcified, acellular, generally prismatic tissue.

endobronchial intubation search for term

Passage of an endotracheal tube further than usual down the trachea and into one of the two bronchi (major air passages of the lungs).

endocarditis search for term

Inflammation of the lining of the heart cavity [see Endocardium] and valves.

endocardium search for term

A delicate membrane, formed of flat endothelial cells, that lines the heart and is continuous with the lining of the arteries and veins.

endocrine search for term

A gland that manufactures one or more hormones (q.v.) and in most cases secretes them directly into the bloodstream.

endocrinologic search for term

Involving or relating to the endocrine glands or secretions that are distributed in the body by way of the bloodstream

endolymphatic hydrops search for term

raised pressure of the fluid (=endolymph) in one part (the membranous labyrinth) of the inner ear

endoscopy search for term

The process of using a fibre-optic scope to observe and operate in parts of the body not otherwise accessible without invasive surgery.

endoscopy search for term

A visual examination of internal surface structures of the body with a flexible tubular instrument with light. Colonoscopy, Sigmoidoscopy and Proctoscopy are endoscopic examinations of the colon and rectum.

endothelium search for term

The membrane lining various vessels and cavities of the body.

endotracheal intubation search for term

The placement of a breathing tube into the trachea or windpipe.

enophthalmos search for term

A condition in which the eye is abnormally sunken into the socket. It may follow fractures of the floor of the orbit that allow the eye to sink downwards and backwards.

enucleation search for term

A surgical operation in which an organ, tumour or cyst is removed.

Enzymes search for term

Complex proteins produced by living cells involved in specific biochemical reactions. e.g. proteases.

ephedrine search for term

Adrenaline, a naturally occurring chemical produced in the body in response to stress. When given as a drug it causes increases in heart rate and blood pressure. Adrenaline is also used as a treatment for severe allergic reaction.

epidemiology search for term

The discipline which studies the causes, distribution, and contributing factors to healthcare problems in population or community groups.

epidermis search for term

The outer layer of the skin, made up of flattened, dead, epithelial cells.

Epidermis search for term

The outer layer of the skin

Epidermolysis bullosa search for term

A group of inherited conditions where blistering occurs on minimal trauma

epidural search for term

Epidural anaesthesia refers to the placement of drugs into the epidural space. This is the space that surrounds the spinal cord and its covering layers, through which the spinal nerves pass as they connect to other nerves leading to and from all parts of the body.

epiglottis search for term

The flap or ‘trapdoor’ over the opening to the voice-box (larynx).

epiglottis search for term

thin flap of cartilage covering the entrance of the air passage, during swallowing, thereby preventing the food etc. going into the lungs

epiglottitis search for term

swelling and inflammation (usually bacterial infection) of the epiglottis (the thin flap of cartilage covering the entrance of the air passage, during swallowing, thereby preventing the food etc. going into the lungs), obstructing air flow to the lungs

epistaxis search for term

nose bleed

epithelium search for term

The tissue that covers the external surfaces of the body and lines hollow structures (except blood and lymphatic vessels).

epithelium search for term

The cellular layer that forms the epidermis of the skin and lines the hollow organs and all passages of the respiratory, alimentary and genitourinary systems.

Epithelium search for term

The layer of cells which covers the entire body surface and lines all the cavities and hollow tracts (eg, the gastrointestinal tract).

Epithelium search for term

The cellular layer that forms the epidermis of the skin and lines the hollow organs and all passages of the respiratory, alimentary, and genitourinary systems

Erosion search for term

Partial loss of the top layer of the skin (epidermis), resulting in a red, moist appearance

Erysipelas search for term

An acute infection of the skin caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, characterised by redness, pain, swelling, and fever

erythema search for term

Flushing of the skin due to dilation of the blood capillaries, it can be a sign of inflammation or infection.

Erythema search for term

Redness of the skin caused by increased blood flow; may be localised or generalised

erythema search for term

Redness of the skin, caused by increased blood flow; may be localised or generalised.

ether search for term

An anaesthetic drug administered as a vapour. It was one of the first anaesthetic agents used and has very pungent smell. It has now been replaced by safer and more acceptable drugs.

ethics search for term

Ethics are a set of principles that guide researchers who are carrying out research with people. Ethical principles are designed to protect the safety, dignity, rights and well-being of the people taking part. They include the requirement to ask each individual to give their informed consent to take part in a research project.

eurphoria search for term

Pleasant psychological reaction. A ‘high’.

evaluation search for term

This involves assessing whether an intervention (for example a treatment, service, project, or programme) is achieving its aims. A project can be evaluated as it goes along or right at the end. An evaluation can measure how well the project is being carried out as well as its impact. The results of evaluations can help with decision-making and planning.

event rate search for term

The proportion of participants in a group within which an event is observed.

Evidence Based Medicine search for term

Current best available evidence from systematic research and review for a given health care intervention. Current best evidence is up-to-date information from relevant, valid research.

evidence-based practice search for term

The conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about health care for and with individuals, families and communities.

Exelon search for term

Exelon (rivastigmine), produced by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, was the second drug licensed in the UK specifically for Alzheimer's disease.

Exocytosis search for term

Benign bony outgrowth, usually from the big toe

exostosis search for term

benign outgrowth from a bone

experiment search for term

An experiment is any study in which the conditions are under the direct control of the researcher. This usually involves giving a group of people an intervention that would not have occurred naturally. Experiments are often used to test the effects of a treatment in people and usually involve comparison with a group who do not get the treatment.

experimental wound search for term

A wound created intentionally for the purpose of testing different methods of treatment, or studying wound healing/scarring.

Extracellular search for term

Occurring outside a cell

Extracellular search for term

Occurring outside a cell

Extracellular matrix search for term

A mass of additional cells and ground substance formed on, over or under the matrix i.e. the collection of tissue, bone, cartilage, etc, at the base of a wound.

extubation search for term

The removal of the endotracheal tube from the trachea.

exudate search for term

Fluid, which leaks out of a wound.

exudation search for term

Leakage of fluid and cells from a compartment, for example a blood vessel

F

Faecal occult blood tests search for term

A family of tests for the presence of blood in the faeces. See also Hemoccult.

False negative search for term

A negative examination result for a person who has a disease at the time the examination is conducted

False positive search for term

A positive examination result in a person who does not have the disease being examined for

Ferritin search for term

Iron-containing proteins that are widely distributed in animals, plants, and microorganisms. Their major function is to store iron in a nontoxic bioavailable form. Each ferritin molecule consists of ferric iron in a hollow protein shell (Apoferritins) made of 24 subunits of various sequences depending on the species and tissue types

ferrule search for term

In restorative dentistry, margin of a cast crown that stabilizes root-canal treated teeth.

fibroids search for term

Benign swelling in the muscular walls of the uterus.

fissure sealant search for term

An impermeable material that is bonded to the occlusal (chewing) surface of posterior teeth to seal the fine grooves (fissures) and pits in the enamel surface of the tooth, to prevent dental caries (dental decay).

fistula search for term

abnormal opening between two hollow organs or between a hollow organ and the exterior

Fistula search for term

An abnormal communication between two usually unconnected structures, body cavities, or the surface of the body. For example "rectovaginal fistula"

Flatus search for term

Gas generated in, and expelled from, the intestinal tract.

Flexural involvement search for term

Involving the creases of the skin; for example, backs of knees, crooks of arms

Fluoroscopic examination search for term

Examination with a fluoroscope, an instrument for visual observation of the body. Radioactive agents are often used during this procedure.

flurorosis search for term

The effects of high fluoride intake. Dental fluorosis is characterized by mottled enamel, which is opaque and may be stained

Focal hyperhidrosis search for term

Excessive sweating confined to areas such as armpits or palms / soles

Follicular plugging search for term

Blocked and enlarged openings to hair follicles

Folliculitis search for term

Inflamation of hair follicles

forest plot search for term

A graphical representation, as seen on the Cochrane logo, of the result of pooling data from a number of healthcare studies. These look at an outcome from an intervention in a clearly defined healthcare situation and the vertical line in the middle is the point at which the intervention under investigation and the control have the same effect.

Freckles search for term

Light brown macules that darken in the sun

frontal assessment battery search for term

The Frontal Assessment Battery is a brief tool that can be used at the bedside or in a clinic setting to assist in discriminating between dementias with a frontal dysexecutive phenotype and Dementia of Alzheimer’s Type (DAT). The FAB has validity in distinguishing Fronto-temporal type dementia from DAT in mildly demented patients (MMSE > 24). Total score is from a maximum of 18, higher scores indicating better performance

fronto-temporal dementia search for term

The term 'fronto-temporal dementia' covers a range of conditions, including Pick's disease, frontal lobe degeneration, and dementia associated with motor neurone disease. All are caused by damage to the frontal lobe and/or the temporal parts of the brain. These areas are responsible for our behaviour, emotional responses and language skills. Damage to the frontal and temporal lobe areas of the brain causes a variety of
different symptoms. Each person will experience the condition in his or her own individual way, but there are some symptoms commonly experienced by people with the condition. Typically, during the initial stages of fronto-temporal dementia, the person's memory is still intact but their personality and behaviour changes. People with frontotemporal dementia may:
• lack insight, and lose the ability to empathise with others. This can make them appear selfish and unfeeling
• become extrovert when they were previously introverted, or withdrawn when they were previously outgoing
• behave inappropriately -for example, making tactless comments, joking at the 'wrong' moments, or being rude.
• lose their inhibitions -for example, exhibiting sexual behaviour in public
• become aggressive
• be easily distracted
• develop routines -for example, compulsive rituals.
The person with fronto-temporal dementia may also experience language difficulties, including:
• problems finding the right words
• a lack of spontaneous conversation
• circumlocution, using many words to describe something simple
• a reduction in or lack of speech.
[adapted from Alzheimer’s Society website]

full stomach search for term

A term used to describe the potential for the stomach to have failed to empty properly before anaesthetic is started. This is most common in cases where the bowel is obstructed, or the patient has been involved in an accident (even a minor one) between the time of last eating and the time of surgery.

Fungus search for term

Simple organism, fungi include yeasts and moulds

fungus search for term

A simple plant that is parasitic on other plants and animals. Fungi are found on the skin and when they multiply they can cause infections such as ringworm or athlete's foot.

G

gait disturbance search for term

Unusual and uncontrollable problems with walking.

Gastroenterology search for term

The branch of medicine, which deals with disorders of the stomach and intestinal tract.

Gastrointestinal search for term

Relating to the stomach and the intestines.

general anaesthesia search for term

Anaesthesia applied to the whole body. A state of controlled unconsciousness.

Generic dermatology quality of life scales search for term

Practical questionnaires looking at the impact of skin disease and treatment on patients' lives

genioplasty search for term

An operation performed to alter the size and shape of the chin. This can be built up with grafted bone, cartilage, or artificial material.

genome-wide association study search for term

This study looks across the entire genetic sequence (genome) to identify variations in this sequence that are more common in people with a particular characteristic or condition and that may be involved in producing that characteristic or condition.

Geriatric Depression Scale search for term

The Geriatric Depression Scale is commonly used to screen mood disorder which may impact on performance of other cognitive assessments. A score of 5 or more is suggestive of an underlying mood disorder and further clinical assessment is recommended.

There has been some concern about its accuracy in detecting minor depression. It is suitable for use with people with a Mini-Mental Status score of more than 14. It takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

Germ-line mutation search for term

A permanent change in a gene which becomes inheritable. Mutations may occur naturally and spontaneously, or they may be subject to exposure to mutagens.

gingivitis search for term

An inflammation of the gums caused by bacterial toxins in dental plaque.

Gland search for term

An organ secreting substances for use in the body.

Global eczema severity search for term

Score assessing the overall severity of eczema

globus pharyngeus search for term

condition characterised by feeling a 'lump in the throat' without any specific lump being present

glottis search for term

the part of the throat containing the vocal cords and the space between these. The term is often used to refer to the part of the larynx associated with producing sound.

Glucose search for term

A simple sugar. One of the most important basic carbohydrate (sugar) units in living organisms.

glue ear search for term

a chronic accumulation of sticky fluid within the middle ear, leading to hearing loss. This condition is also known as OTITIS MEDIA or OTITIS MEDIA WITH EFFUSION

goitre search for term

A swelling of the thyroid gland, which is situated in the front of the neck.

goitre search for term

swelling in the neck due to an enlargement of the thyroid gland

GPCOG search for term

This brief validated screening test (specifically for Primary Care) incorporates the Clock Drawing test.

Granulation tissue search for term

Delicate tissue composed mainly of tiny blood vessels and fibres, formed at the site of a wound or infection as part of the healing process.

Granuloma annulare search for term

A benign chronic rash of unknown cause characterized by one or more flat spreading ringlike spots with lighter centers especially on the feet, legs, hands, or fingers

grey literature search for term

Reports of studies that do not appear in the peer-reviewed literature. These reports are often not easily accessible and may not be in the format of papers in the general medical literature.

Gynaecology search for term

Branch of medicine concerned with diseases and conditions specifically concerned with female reproductive organs.

H

haematoma search for term

accumulation of blood in the tissues that clots to form a solid swelling

haematoma search for term

A mass of blood that forms in a tissue, organ, or body space as a result of a broken blood vessel

haemodynamic search for term

Relating to or functioning in the mechanics of blood circulation

haemoglobin search for term

The chemical contained in red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen.

Haemoglobin search for term

The protein in red blood cells which carries oxygen from the lungs.

Haemorheological agent search for term

A drug, which acts on red blood cells.

haemorrhoidectomy search for term

The operation to remove haemorrhoids (dilated veins in the rectum or anus).

haemostasis search for term

to stop bleeding

halitosis search for term

Any disagreeable odour of expired air, regardless of its origin. Bad breath is the generally accepted term for foul smells emanating from the mouth.

Hanifin and Rajka diagnostic criteria search for term

A long list of features, based on patient's history, family history and the appearance of the skin rash, used as a guide when diagnosing atopic eczema

HD (Huntingdon Disease) search for term

Huntington's disease (also referred to in more formal medical research as Huntington Disease) is an hereditary neurological disorder of the central nervous system that causes progressive degeneration of cells in the brain, slowly impairing a person's ability to walk, think, talk and reason. It was first described in 1872 by an American doctor, George Huntington, who studied an extended family in Long Island affected by the condition.
Symptoms develop gradually over months or years. The age at which they first appear is usually between about 30 and 50. However, in about 5% of cases Huntington's disease becomes apparent before the age of 20 (in this situation, referred to as juvenile-onset Huntington's Disease, it is usually inherited from the father). The onset and rate of progression of the disease tends to follow a pattern within each family. Symptoms begin with memory loss (especially of recent events) or confusion, changes in personality and mood that may include aggressive and antisocial behaviour, as well as clumsiness or uncontrolled muscle movements (these movements are known as chorea) and rigidity. As the condition progresses, other symptoms of dementia appear, such as loss of rational thought and poor concentration. Involuntary movements, difficulties with
speaking and swallowing, weight loss, seizures, depression and anxiety may also occur. The disease often progresses slowly, and the affected person may live for 15 to 20 years after the initial diagnosis.

HDU search for term

'High Dependency Unit', a specialised ward for the care of critically ill patients.

health education search for term

education that increases the awareness and favorably influences the attitudes and knowledge relating to the improvement of health on a personal or community basis.

hematoma search for term

A mass of blood that forms in a tissue, organ, or body space as a result of a broken blood vessel

Hemocullt search for term

A diagnostic test for blood in the faeces (faecal occult blood test) as an indication of intestinal abnormalities.

hemodynamic search for term

Relating to or functioning in the mechanics of blood circulation

Hepatoxic search for term

Chemical-driven liver damage

hernia search for term

An outpouching of the lining of the abdominal cavity, through a weakness in the overlying muscular layers.

Herpes zoster search for term

Shingles

herpes zoster oticus search for term

viral infection of the facial nerve, causing facial paralysis and loss of taste, also pain in the ear and in other parts supplied by the nerve

heterogeneity search for term

A wide spread of results in a collection of data that suggests extra factors other than those that have already been taken into consideration are influencing the results.

hiatus hernia search for term

A widening of the normal space between the abdomen and the chest through which the oesophagus passes. As a result, part of the stomach slides into the chest, and acid from the stomach is able to flow up the oesophagus, causing ‘heartburn’ (indigestion).

High Dependency Unit search for term

Like an Intensive Care Unit; a specialised ward for the care of critically ill patients.

high level evidence search for term

This is a hierarchical categorisation (ranking) of different types of clinical evidence. It is partly based on the type of study involved and ranks evidence according to its ability to avoid various biases in medical research. Several ranking schemes exist that are specific to the question posed in the research. Studies with the highest ranking are those that provide the best evidence that a result is true.
Examples of studies ranked in order from high-level to low-level evidence are:
• systematic reviews
• single randomised controlled trials
• controlled trials without randomisation
• prospective cohort studies
• case-control studies
• cross sectional studies
• case series
• single case reports

hisatopahology search for term

The study of the microscopic anatomical changes in diseased tissue.

Histology search for term

The study and characteristics of tissue.

homogeneity search for term

A consistency of a collection of data that suggests the researcher is looking at similar situations without unknown confounders.

hormone search for term

One of a number of naturally occurring substances transmitting 'messages for action' to different parts of the body. Hormones are produced by endocrine glands/tissues, are secreted into the bloodstream and carried to distant tissues or organs where they act to modify their structure or function.

hospital record search for term

The files or records of a patient’s admissions and treatment provided by a particular hospital.

Humoral immunity search for term

That kind of immunity which is conveyed through antibodies

hyaluronate search for term

A component of synovial fluid of the joints and plays an important role in lubricating and maintaining the internal environment of the joints.

Hydrocolloid search for term

Dressing which reacts with wound exudate to maintain the moisture at the surface of a wound.

hydrogel search for term

Water based jelly-like substance, which can be used for the same purpose as hydrocolloid dressings (a dressing which reacts with wound exudate to maintain the moisture at the surface of a wound).

hydroxyapatite search for term

The crystalline component of bones and teeth, consisting of a complex form of calcium phosphate.

hyperbaric oxygen search for term

Oxygen at a pressure higher than normal.

hyperbaric oxygen therapy search for term

A technique for exposing a patient in a special chamber to intermittent, short term 100% oxygen inhalation at a pressure greater than one atmosphere.

hypercapnia search for term

The presence in the blood of an abnormally high concentration of carbon dioxide.

hyperglycaemia search for term

An excess of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. It may occur in a variety of diseases, most notably in diabetes mellitus, due to insufficient insulin in the blood and excessive intake of carbohydrates. Untreated it may progress to diabetic coma.

Hyperhidrosis search for term

Excessive sweating

Hyperkeratosis search for term

Thickening of the skin

hyperplasia search for term

The increased production and growth of normal cells in a tissue or organ. The affected part becomes larger but retains its normal form.

hyperpyrexia search for term

A rare condition in which, after administration of certain triggering drugs, the patient develops an uncontrollable rise in temperature. The susceptibility is hereditary and the condition is treatable.

hyperpyrexia search for term

Exceptionally high fever (as in a particular disease)

hypersialorrhea search for term

Excessive drooling of saliva.

hypertension search for term

Abnormally high blood pressure.

Hypertrichosis search for term

Excessive hairiness of all or part of the body

Hypertrophic scar search for term

An elevated scar resembling a keloid but which does not spread into surrounding tissues, is rarely painful, and regresses spontaneously

Hypertrophic scar search for term

An area of enlarged scar tissue (see keloid).

hypertrophy search for term

increase of the size of an organ brought about by an increase in cell size

hypoplasia search for term

Underdevelopment of an organ or tissue.

hypoxaemia search for term

Deficient oxygenation of the blood and tissue

hypoxemia search for term

Deficient oxygenation of the blood and tissue

hypoxia search for term

Insufficient oxygen in the bloodstream, sometimes caused by the breathing of a gas mixture with inadequate oxygen.

hypoxia search for term

A deficiency of oxygen in the tissues.

hyrax appliance search for term

A brace fixed to four back teeth by metal rings around the individual teeth. These are joined together by a wire framework attached to a screw in the mid-line which can be opened to expand the jaw.

hysterectomy search for term

The operation to remove the uterus.

I

Ichthyosis search for term

Inherited disorder of the outer, horny layer of the skin, causing the skin to become dry and scaly

ICU search for term

'Intensive Care Unit', a specialised ward for the care of critically ill patients.

Ileorectal anastomosis search for term

A connection between the ileum (small bowel) and the rectum. See general definition for anastomosis.

Immunological search for term

Relating to the immune system and matters linked to the bodys resistance mechanisms

Immunomodulators search for term

Agents used to stimulate the immune system and work on eradicating the tumour

immunotheraphy search for term

(for allergy) a preventative treatment for allergic reactions. Gradually increased doses of the allergen are given causing the immune system to become less sensitive to the substance.

impacted search for term

An unerupted or partially erupted tooth that is positioned against another tooth, bone or soft tissue so that complete eruption is unlikely.

impartial and independent search for term

1. Impartial: The Cochrane Collaboration's status as a non-governmental and not-for-profit organisation means it operates without bias or influence.
2. Independent: Our independent status helps us maintain the quality of our output at all times - unconstrained by commercial and financial interests.
3. Collaborative: Expert scientists, researchers, health policy setters, consumer advocates and patients give freely of their time to further evidence-based decision making in healthcare.

implant search for term

(dentistry) An unerupted or partially erupted tooth that is positioned against another tooth, bone or soft tissue so that complete eruption is unlikely.

implementation search for term

Implementation involves putting research findings into practice. This means using research findings to make appropriate decisions and changes to health and social care policy and practice.

incision search for term

A cut into the surface of the body or an organ.

Incision search for term

A cut or wound, usually a surgical opening.

incisor search for term

Any of the four front teeth in each jaw, two on each side of the midline.

Index relative search for term

The first family member to be identified with an hereditary condition or disease.

induction search for term

The process of starting the anaesthetic.

induction agents search for term

Drugs used to induce anaesthesia.

induration search for term

The pathological hardening of a tissue or organ. May occur when a tissue is infected or when it is invaded by cancer.

Induration search for term

Thickening of the skin

Infiltration search for term

Establishment and multiplication of pathogenic organisms in a host.

informed consent search for term

Consent for a procedure that is given by the patient or a responsible person, having understood the explanations and implications provided the treating doctor.

infra-bony defects search for term

Defects in the bone supporting the tooth caused by the destruction of bone surrounding the root of the tooth as a result of periodontal disease.

infusion site search for term

Site of the entry into the body of a cannula (tube) to allow the passage of drugs or fluids direct into a vein.

inhalation search for term

The act of inhaling; that is, taking air or gas into the lungs by breathing.

inhalational agents search for term

Anaesthetic drugs administered as a vapour or gas and breathed in by the patient.

Insulin search for term

Hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to blood glucose. It is involved in regulating blood glucose levels and promotes fuel storage.

intensive care search for term

Meeting the needs of gravely ill patients with special medical facilities, services, and monitoring devices

Intensive Care Unit search for term

A specialised ward for the care of critically ill patients.

intention to treat search for term

The situation where people are entered into a healthcare study, allocated into a group, and then, for whatever reason, do not complete the study. It is important in the analysis of results to consider these people, especially if it is the intervention that led them to stop being involved by withdrawing or ‘dropping out’.

Interdigital search for term

Between the toes or fingers

internist search for term

Doctors who specialise in internal medicine - that is, in diseases of the body not usually associated with the need for surgery. Also known as a physician.

intervention search for term

A treatment, procedure or program of health care that has the potential to change the course of events of a healthcare condition.

Intestinal perforation search for term

A hole through the full thickness of the intestinal wall.

intramuscular search for term

Literally ‘inside or within the muscle’, referring to the site of infections.

intraoperative search for term

During the operation.

intravenous search for term

Or 'IV'. Into the vein, by injection. Sometimes the word ‘intravenous’ refers to a cannula inserted into a vein as a means of injecting drugs intravenously. The cannula may or may not have a fluid infusion or intravenous line attached.

intravenous search for term

Situated within, performed within, occurring within, or administered by entering a vein

intubation search for term

The placement of a tube into a hollow space. In most cases this refers to the placement of an endotracheal tube into the larynx.

Intubation search for term

The introduction of a tube into a hollow organ (as the trachea) to keep it open or restore its patency if obstructed

Intussusception search for term

A clinical condition where part of the intestine has moved into another part of the intestine, causing obstruction.

IQCODE search for term

The Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) is a questionnaire that can be filled out by a relative or carer (the informant) of an older person to determine whether that person has declined in cognitive functioning. The IQCODE is often used as a screening test for dementia.

IQCODE is especially useful in cases where, for different reasons, a meaningful formal cognitive assessment cannot be performed. It also gives the relative an opportunity to say what they feel. IQCODE has been found to have similar specificity and sensitivity to the MMSE.

Most screening tests for dementia involve a brief list of questions to directly assess cognitive functioning, such as the MMSE. A disadvantage of such tests is that they are affected by the person’s level of education, familiarity with the dominant language and culture in their country, and level of intelligence before the onset of dementia. Because of this, cognitive screening tests can falsely indicate dementia in people with lower education, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and lower intelligence. The IQCODE attempts to overcome this problem by assessing change from earlier in life, rather than the person’s current level of functioning. It does this by making use of the informant’s knowledge of both the person’s earlier and current cognitive functioning.

Irradiation search for term

Diffuse spread of, for example, pain

ischaemia search for term

Deficient blood supply to any part of the body

ischaemic ulcer search for term

Area of skin loss (see ulcer, arterial ulcer) resulting from deficient blood supply.

IV search for term

Stands for 'intravenous'. Into the vein, by injection. Sometimes the word ‘intravenous’ refers to a cannula inserted into a vein as a means of injecting drugs intravenously. The cannula may or may not have a fluid infusion or intravenous line attached.

J

Jadad scale search for term

A measure of the quality of a study that is being considered for inclusion in a systematic review. It takes into account randomization, blinding and intention to treat.

Jejunum search for term

Upper part of the small bowel (from duodenum to ileum).

K

keloid search for term

A hard smooth pinkish raised growth of scar tissue at the site of an injury tending to occur more frequently in dark-skinned people (see hypertrophic scar).

Keratin search for term

A protein that is found in hair, nails and the outer layer of the skin

Keratinization search for term

The process by which the skin produces the outermost horny layer

keratinized search for term

Being hard or callused; horny; composed of or resembling tough fibrous material consisting chiefly of keratin.

L

labyrinth search for term

convoluted system of cavities and ducts in the inner ear, comprising the organs of hearing and balance; inner ear

labyrinthitis search for term

inflammation of the inner ear

laceration search for term

A wound to the skin or surface of an organ, which results in a cut with irregular edges.

Lamellar search for term

Retained keratin in large brown scales that lift at the periphery

laparoscope search for term

A type of fibre-optic probe used when looking into or operating in the abdominal cavity.

Laparoscope search for term

Optical instrument for diagnostic and surgical procedures, often used in the abdomen. The incision through the abdominal wall is very small compared to the conventional "open surgery" technique.

laparoscopy search for term

Visual examination of the inside of the abdomen by means of an optical or fiberoptic instrument that is inserted through an incision in the abdominal wall

laryngeal search for term

referring to the larynx (part of the throat responsible for the production of vocal sounds; also serving as passage for air travelling into the lungs)

laryngeal mask airway search for term

'LMA'. A device used to connect the breathing circuit to the patients trachea without passing a tube through the larynx (voice-box). The LMA consists of a tube with an inflatable pad that encloses the larynx.

laryngeal web search for term

a web of tissue across the larynx which may impair breathing and vocalisation

laryngitis search for term

inflammation of the larynx and vocal cords (bacterial or viral infection; irritation by gases, chemicals etc.)

laryngomalacia search for term

(congenital, from birth) floppy structure of the larynx, giving rise to attacks of breathing difficulty in small children. Usually resolves spontaneously with development.

laryngoscope search for term

A device used to insert an endotracheal tube into the trachea. The laryngoscope consists of a long metal ‘blade’ with a light, which is inserted into the mouth of the anaesthetised patient so the anaesthetist can see the larynx.

larynx search for term

The site of the vocal cords. Commonly known as the voice-box or Adam’s apple, it may be felt in the neck as a hard lump. The larynx connects the throat to the trachea.

larynx search for term

part of the throat responsible for the production of vocal sounds; also serving as passage for air travelling into the lungs. It is made up of a framework of cartilage, within which the vocal cords are situated.

laser theraphy search for term

Light Amplification through Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A light beam that heats and coagulates tissues, therefore stopping extensive bleeding. Laser energy directed at wounds is used to aid healing.

Lead-time bias search for term

Screening advances the date of diagnosis, thereby extending the interval between diagnosis and death, even if the time of death is unchanged. In screened individuals, diagnosis is made earlier than it would have been in the absence of screening; this is known as the 'lead time' obtained by screening. The survival time is measured from time of diagnosis until time of death; individuals diagnosed on screening will have longer survival times, even if screening had no effect on their time of death.

Length bias search for term

Tumours grow at different rates. With each screening round, the probability of detecting slow-growing tumours is greater than that of detecting fast-growing tumours, because slower growing tumours remain in the pre-symptomatic screen-detectable phase for longer. Thus, there will be fewer fast-growing tumours in a screened group compared with an unscreened group. Slow-growing tumours tend to have a better prognosis, which may account for differences in outcome between the groups.

lesion search for term

Disease changes in organs or tissues; a wound.

Lesion search for term

In relation to skin; an area of disease on the skin (usually small)

Lewy Body Dementia (Dementia with Lewy bodies/DLB) search for term

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a form of dementia that shares characteristics with both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. It accounts for around four per cent of all cases of dementia in older people. Dementia with Lewy bodies is sometimes referred to by other names, including Lewy body dementia, Lewy body variant of Alzheimer's disease, diffuse Lewy body disease, cortical Lewy body disease and senile dementia of Lewy body type. All these terms refer to the same disorder. This factsheet outlines the symptoms of DLB, how it is diagnosed and how it is treated. DLB appears to affect men and women equally. As with all forms of dementia, it is more prevalent in people over the age of 65. However, in certain rare cases people under 65 may develop DLB.
• They may experience problems with attention and alertness, often have spatial disorientation and experience difficulty with 'executive function', which includes difficulty in planning ahead and co-ordinating mental activities. Although memory is often affected, it is typically less so than in Alzheimer's disease.
• They may also develop the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including slowness, muscle stiffness, trembling of the limbs, a tendency to shuffle when walking, loss of facial expression, and changes in the strength and
tone of the voice.
There are also symptoms that are characteristic of DLB. In addition to the symptoms above, a person with DLB may:
• experience detailed and convincing visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not there), often of people or animals
• find that their abilities fluctuate daily, or even hourly
• fall asleep very easily by day, and have restless, disturbed nights with confusion, nightmares and hallucinations
• faint, fall, or have 'funny turns'.
[adapted from Alzheimer’s Society website]

Likert scale search for term

A Likert scale is a commonly used rating scale that measures attitudes or feelings on a continuous linear scale, usually from a minimum ‘strongly disagree’ response to a maximum ‘strongly disagree’ response, or similar. Likert-scales can be 5-point, 6-point, 10-point, etc. depending on the number of response options available.

Lipodermatosclerosis search for term

Area of pigmentation and hardened skin caused by leakage of red blood cells into the skin. Seen in people with chronic venous insufficiency.

LMA search for term

A 'laryngeal mask airway'. A device used to connect the breathing circuit to the patients trachea without passing a tube through the larynx (voice-box). The LMA consists of a tube with an inflatable pad that encloses the larynx.

Local anaesthesia search for term

Loss of sensation in a limited (and often superficial) area especially from the effect of a local anaesthetic

local anaesthesia search for term

Anaesthesia is applied to part of the body, usually by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses in one or more nerves.

local anaesthetics search for term

Drugs, such as lidocaine, that are used to produce local or regional anaesthesia.

local anesthesia search for term

Loss of sensation in a limited (and often superficial) area especially from the effect of a local anaesthetic

longitudinal study search for term

A longitudinal study is one that studies a group of people over time.

low level evidence search for term

This is a hierarchical categorisation (ranking) of different types of clinical evidence. It is partly based on the type of study involved and ranks evidence according to its ability to avoid various biases in medical research. Several ranking schemes exist that are specific to the question posed in the research. Studies with the highest ranking are those that provide the best evidence that a result is true.
Examples of studies ranked in order from high-level to low-level evidence are:
• systematic reviews
• single randomised controlled trials
• controlled trials without randomisation
• prospective cohort studies
• case-control studies
• cross sectional studies
• case series
• single case reports

Ludwig scale search for term

The progression of female pattern baldness is generally classified on the Ludwig scale, which ranges from stages I to III

Lumen search for term

Cavity or tubular channel (for example the intestine).

lymph nodes search for term

Part of the body’s defence system, consisting of small glands that respond to infection by swelling up. They are often the site to which cancer spreads.

lymphatic system search for term

a network of vessels transporting water and other substances from the tissues to the blood vessels

Lymphatics search for term

Capillaries or vessels that collect lymph from the tissues and carry it to the blood stream.

lymphoedema search for term

Persistent swelling of the tissues as a result of inadequate drainage of the lymph channels (see oedema).

Lymphomas search for term

Cancer originating from the immune system

M

macroglossia search for term

Excessively large tongue.

macrophage search for term

A large scavenger cell (a phagocyte) present in connective tissue and many major organs and tissues, including the bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes, liver, and the central nervous system.

Macrovascular disease search for term

Disease of the large veins.

Macule search for term

A flat mark which may be inflamed (red) or pigmented eg a freckle

maintenance search for term

The phase of anaesthesia between ‘induction’ and ‘emergence’. This is the period during which the surgical or other procedure may be performed.

malaise search for term

A general feeling of being unwell. The feeling may be accompanied by identifiable physical discomfort and may indicate the presence of disease.

malignant search for term

describing a tumour that invades and destroys the tissue in which it originates and can spread to other sites in the body via the blood stream and lymphatic system, i.e. a cancerous tumour

malignant search for term

Tending to produce death or deterioration, tending to infiltrate, metastasise, and terminate fatally; of unfavourable prognosis; not responding favourably to treatment

malignant hyperthermia search for term

A rare condition in which, after administration of certain triggering drugs, the patient develops an uncontrollable rise in temperature. The susceptibility is hereditary and the condition is treatable.

malignant hyperthermia search for term

A rare inherited condition characterized by a rapid, extreme, and often fatal rise in body temperature following the administration of general anaesthesia

Malnutrition search for term

Lack of adequate nutrition, resulting from poor or unbalanced diet, insufficient food or defective assimilation of food.

mandible search for term

The lower jaw.

mandible search for term

The lower jawbone.

masseter search for term

A thick muscle in the cheek extending from the zygomatic arch (cheek bone) to the outer corner of the mandible (lower jawbone). It is important for mastication and acts by closing the jaws.

mastication search for term

The process of chewing food.

mastoid search for term

part of the skull that extends downwards behind the ear canal. It contains many air spaces that communicate with the middle ear via an air-filled channel (providing a possible route for spread of infection from the middle ear).

mastoiditis search for term

inflammation of the mastoid process (part of the skull that extends downwards behind the ear canal) and the air space connecting it to the middle ear; usually caused by infection of the middle ear

material risks search for term

Risks that may occur and that represent serious complications.

maxilla search for term

Loosely, the upper jaw, which bears the upper teeth.

Maxillofacial search for term

Referring to the upper jaw and face.

MCI (Mild cognitive impairment) search for term

Individuals with MCI usually have difficulty with memory but can largely function in everyday activities

MD search for term

The mean difference is a method used in meta-analysis to combine the means (average measurements) from multiple studies to determine the true mean (or average) measurement across all the studies.

mean search for term

The average value of a variable.

mean difference search for term

The mean difference is a method used in meta-analysis to combine the means (average measurements) from multiple studies to determine the true mean (or average) measurement across all the studies.

medial gaiter area search for term

Inner area of the lower leg, between the ankle and calf muscle.

mediastinoscopy search for term

The process of looking into the front part of the chest cavity, using a fibre-optic probe inserted at the bottom of the neck.

MEDLINE search for term

An American based electronic database listing articles of biomedical research from a pre-determined range of peer-reviewed publications. PubMed is freely accessed on the internet.

Melanocytes search for term

The cells in the skin which give rise to skin colour

Melanoma search for term

A potentially serious form of skin cancer caused by an overgrowth of the pigment cells commonly found in the skin

meniere's disease search for term

disease characterised by episodes of deafness, buzzing in the ears (=TINNITUS) and vertigo and probably caused by the build-up of fluid in the inner ear (also ENDOLYMPHATIC HYDROPS)

meperidine search for term

A strong narcotic painkiller, such as morphine.

Mesenteric vascular occlusion search for term

Obstruction of greater blood vessels to the intestine, often due to thrombosis or emboli.

Mesentery search for term

A fold of membrane that attaches various organs to the body wall, especially the intestine.

MeSH search for term

Medical subject headings or keywords that are used to index and therefore identify articles in electronic databases.

mesial search for term

Towards the midline (centre of mouth). Refers to the surfaces of the teeth in the dental arch that face towards the midline.

mesial drift search for term

The natural tendency for teeth to drift mesially (towards the midline, centre of mouth).

meta-analysis search for term

A way of analysing information or data from a number of different studies to determine an average, or common, effect. It is aimed at improving the precision of the available data by looking at a greater number of people, including from different populations.

Metaplasia search for term

Metaplasia is a condition where one type of cell transforms into another type of cell, because of a changed environment

Metaplasia search for term

A radical change of cells, so they function differently from the normal cell.

metastasis search for term

The distant spread of malignant tumour from its site of origin.

Metastasis search for term

The spread of cancer to other parts of the body by lymph or blood

Metastatic search for term

A word to describe a disease which spreads to other parts of the body

MH search for term

'Malignant hyperthermia'. A rare condition in which, after administration of certain triggering drugs, the patient develops an uncontrollable rise in temperature. The susceptibility is hereditary and the condition is treatable.

MI search for term

Myocardial infarction. A heart attack. Specifically refers to the damage (infarction) caused by lack of blood supply to a section of the heart muscle (myocardium).

Microbe search for term

A living organism so tiny it can only be seen through a microscope; e.g. a bacteria, a virus.

microbial contamination search for term

Dirtying of hands, instruments, etc, by microbes.

Microcirculatory search for term

Referring to the microcirculation of small arteries (arterioles) veins (venules) and capillaries.

microdonta search for term

A condition in which the teeth are unusually small.

micrognathia search for term

Abnormal smallness of one or both jaws.

Microorganisms search for term

Also known as microbes: living organisms so tiny it can only be seen through a microscope; e.g. a bacteria, a virus.

mild cognitive impairment (MCI) search for term

Individuals with MCI usually have difficulty with memory but can largely function in everyday activities

Milia search for term

Whiteheads, small white cysts just under the epidermis

mini-mental state examination (MMSE) search for term

One of the most commonly used cognitive tests to diagnose dementia, often called a paper and pencil test

mobility search for term

The ability to move about (cf ambulant).

Mohs micrographic surgery search for term

The removal of a tumour, layer by layer, until it has gone as determined histologically

moles search for term

A general term usually used to denote harmless collections of pigment cells in the skin. They may be present at birth, or they may develop in the first few decades of life

monitored anaesthesia care search for term

Care for a patient by an anaesthetist where a general anaesthetic is not administered.

monitors search for term

Devices that measure changes in some aspect of the patient’s condition, such as heart rate, or a piece of equipment – for example, concentration of oxygen delivered from the anaesthetic machine. (A car speedometer is a monitor of road speed.)

monomer search for term

A compound whose chemicals can join together to form a polymer; (polymer being a compound such as starch or Perspex, that has large molecules made up of many relatively simple units).

morbidity search for term

A diseased state or symptom; the incidence of disease; the rate of sickness, the human suffering from a health problem.

morbidity search for term

A diseased state or symptom; the incidence of disease; the rate of sickness

morbidity search for term

Illness or harm.

morphine search for term

A powerful painkilling drug.

Morphological alteration search for term

To affect the form and structure of

Morphology search for term

The form and structure of a particular organ, tissue or cell

mortality search for term

Death; the incidence of death; death rate

mortality search for term

Death; the incidence of death; death rate.

mortality search for term

Death

MR scanning search for term

A computerized diagnostic technique based upon magnetic resonance, which allows a picture of structures in a selected plane of tissue or other material.

mucocoele search for term

space or organ distended with mucus

mucosa search for term

moist membrane lining many tubular structures and cavities, for example, the nose, the respiratory tract etc.

mucous membrane search for term

Membrane which lines many of the hollow organs of the body. Lubricated by mucous, secreted either by cells on the surface of the membrane or glands beneath it.

muscle relaxants search for term

Drugs used to induce relaxation or weakening of muscles.

muscular search for term

Of, relating to, or constituting muscle

Mycobacterium search for term

A group of bacteria which cause a range of infections in humans including TB

mycological search for term

related to fungi

Myocardial infarction search for term

A heart attack. Specifically refers to the damage (infarction) caused by lack of blood supply to a section of the heart muscle (myocardium).

myotomy search for term

The dissection or surgical division of a muscle.

myringotomy search for term

Excision of the eardrum to create an artificial opening to allow fluid to drain from middle ear/permit insertion of a grommet

N

Nail dystrophy search for term

Destruction of the nail plate

narcotic search for term

A drug (as opium) that in moderate doses dulls the senses, relieves pain, and induces profound sleep but in excessive doses causes stupor, coma, or convulsions; a drug (as marijuana or LSD) subject to restriction similar to that of addictive narcotics whether in fact physiologically addictive and narcotic or not

narcotics search for term

Painkilling drugs derived from opium, or related synthetic compounds.

narrative review search for term

A narrative review discusses and summarises the literature on a particular topic, without generating any pooled summary figures through meta-analysis. This type of review usually gives a comprehensive overview of a topic, rather than addressing a specific question such as how effective a treatment is for a particular condition. Narrative reviews do not often report on how the search for literature was carried out or how it was decided which studies were relevant to include. Therefore, they are not classified as systematic reviews.

nasal turbinates search for term

bones at the sides of the nasal cavity (space inside the nose)

nasogastric tube search for term

A narrow plastic tube inserted through one nostril, down the oesophagus and into the stomach.

Necrotic tissue search for term

Dead or dying tissue, which may be due to the interruption of blood supply.

Negative predictive value search for term

The probability of a person with a negative diagnostic test result in fact not having the disease.

negative predictive value search for term

This is one of a set of measures used to show the accuracy of a diagnostic test (see sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value). The negative predictive value (NPV) of a test is a measure of how accurate a negative result on that test is at identifying that a person does not have a disease. The NPV is the proportion of people with a negative test result who do not truly have a disease. For example, if a test has an NPV of 75%, this means that 75% of the people who test negative are truly disease free, while 25% who test negative have the disease (false negatives). The NPV for a test varies depending on how common the disease is in the population being tested. An NPV is usually lower (false negatives are more common) when disease prevalence is higher.

Negative pressure therapy search for term

Therapy, which involves lowering the air pressure to below normal atmospheric pressure, to suck material from a wound. Also known as VAC(R), or topical negative pressure therapy.

Neoplasm search for term

A new, abnormal cell growth.

neoplasm search for term

Any new or abnormal growth: any benign or malignant tumour.

neoplasm search for term

any new and abnormal growth, i.e. any benign or malignant tumour

nerve block search for term

The use of local anaesthetic around a nerve to block the passage of impulses down the nerve fibre.

nerve block search for term

An interruption of the passage of impulses through a nerve (as with pressure or narcotics)

nested case-control study search for term

A nested case-control study is a special type of case-control study in which ‘cases’ of a disease are drawn for the same cohort (population of people) as the controls to whom they are compared. These studies are sometimes called case-control studies nested in a cohort or case-cohort studies. The collection of data on the cases and controls is defined before the study begins.
Compared with a simple case-control study, the nested case-control study can reduce 'recall bias' (where a participant remembers a past event inaccurately) and temporal ambiguity (where it is unclear whether a hypothesised cause preceded an outcome). It can be less expensive and time consuming than a cohort study. Incidence and prevalence rates of a disease can sometimes be estimated from a nested case-control cohort study, whereas they cannot from a simple case-control study (as the total number of exposed people (the denominator) and the follow up time are not usually known).

Neurolgic search for term

Of or relating to the nervous system

neutropenia search for term

A decrease in the number of neutrophils in the blood. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell which provides an important defence against infection.

neutrophil search for term

A type of white blood cell which provides an important defence against infection.

NNT search for term

A statistical measure of the number of people who need to be given an intervention in order to observe a beneficial effect for one extra person. It is calculated from the risk difference. It is the inverse of the absolute risk difference

NNT search for term

Number needed to treat (NNT) is the number of patients to be treated to prevent one bad outcome. NNT is the inverse of risk difference, 1/RD.

nodule search for term

A deep skin lump

non-calcaneal callus search for term

A callus (a hardened or thickened area of skin) that does not project from the surface.

non-randomised study search for term

In this type of study, participants are not randomly allocated to receiving (or not receiving) an intervention.

non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs search for term

NSAIDs. These drugs provide pain relief and reduce inflammation, but are not members of the narcotic group of painkilling drugs.

NPO search for term

‘Nil per os’, i.e. ‘nothing by mouth’ – in other words, no food or drink.

NSAID search for term

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs provide pain relief and reduce inflammation, but are not members of the narcotic group of painkilling drugs.

nsaid search for term

Any one of a large group of drugs used for pain relief. NSAIDs act by inhibiting the cyclo-oxygenase enzymes responsible for controlling the formation of prostaglandins, which are important mediators of inflammation. They include ibuprofen, aspirin, azapropazone and others. Adverse effects include gastric bleeding and ulceration.

Number needed to treat search for term

The number of patients to be treated to prevent one bad outcome. NNT is the inverse of risk difference, 1/RD.

number needed to treat search for term

A statistical measure of the number of people who need to be given an intervention in order to observe a beneficial effect for one extra person. It is calculated from the risk difference. It is the inverse of the absolute risk difference.

nummular search for term

Circular

nystagmus search for term

rapid, involuntary movements of the eyes

O

objective search for term

The clearly stated healthcare question(s) that a study or review sets out to answer.

observational study search for term

In an observational study, researchers have no control over exposures and instead observe what happens to groups of people.

obstetricians search for term

Doctors who specialise in the care of women during pregnancy and delivery.

Obstetrics search for term

The branch of medicine concerned with pregnancy and childbirth.

obstructive sleep apnoea search for term

OSA. A condition where partial blockage to breathing in the mouth and at the back of the throat leads to short periods of interruption of breathing while asleep. Such breathing while asleep is noisy, as in snoring.

obturating plate search for term

An acrylic appliance placed over the gums of babies upper jaw so that the cleft between the mouth and the nose is covered.

obturation search for term

To fill or cover an orifice.

occlusal search for term

Relating to the occlusion of the teeth. Occlusion relates to the contact of the upper and lower teeth in any jaw position.

occlusal adjustment search for term

Selective adjustment of the biting surface of the teeth e.g. grinding the enamel so that the natural biting position (RCP) of the jaws and the normal biting position of the jaws (ICP) are the same.

occlusal splint search for term

A rigid or flexible appliance that overlays the occlusal surfaces (where the teeth meet) of the teeth to treat clenching, grinding and its associated consequences. It can also provide temporary relief from muscle or Temporomandibular Joint pain.

occlusion search for term

The closing or obstruction of a duct, hollow organ or blood vessel.

occlusion search for term

Relating to the contact of the upper and lower teeth in any jaw position.

Odds Ratio search for term

Odds Ratio (OR): The ratio of the odds of an event in the experimental (intervention) group to the odds of an event in the control group. If 100
persons have an event rate of 0.20, then 20 persons have the event and 80 persons do not. The OR will be 20/80 or 0.25. Value 1.00 indicates no differences between the two groups.

odds ratio search for term

An odds ratio is one of several ways to summarise the association between an exposure and an outcome, such as a disease. (Another commonly used approach is to calculaterelative risks.)
Odds ratios compare the odds of the outcome in an exposed group with the odds of the same outcome in an unexposed group. Odds tell us how likely it is that an event will occur compared to the likelihood that the event will not happen. Odds of 1:3 that an event occurs, e.g. that a horse wins in a race, means the horse will win once and lose three times (over four races). Odds ratios are a way of comparing events across groups who are exposed and those who aren't.

odontogenic tumours search for term

Tumours in the jaws that arise from odontogenic (tooth forming) tissues.

oedema search for term

Swelling, abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin, or in one or more of the cavities of the body

oedema search for term

An abnormal excess accumulation of serous fluid in connective tissue

Onycholysis search for term

The loosening of the nails, beginning at the border

Onychomadesis search for term

Loosening of the nail from the nail bed

Onychomycosis search for term

A fungal infection of the nails

Onychorrhexis search for term

Longitudinal ridging and splitting of the nails

Open comedone search for term

Blackhead ie a blocked pore with its opening visible

open label search for term

Open label means that investigators and participants in a randomised controlled trial are aware of what treatment is being given and received (the study is not blinded).

Ophiasis search for term

A form of alopecia areata in which the loss of hair occurs in bands along the scalp margin partially or completely encircling the head

opiate search for term

A preparation (as morphine, heroin, and codeine) containing or derived from opium and tending to induce sleep and to alleviate pain; a synthetic drug capable of producing or sustaining addiction similar to that characteristic of morphine and cocaine; a narcotic or opioid peptide

opioid search for term

Possessing some properties characteristic of opiate narcotics but not derived from opium

OR search for term

Odds Ratio (OR): The ratio of the odds of an event in the experimental (intervention) group to the odds of an event in the control group. If 100 persons have an event rate of 0.20, then 20 persons have the event and 80 persons do not. The OR will be 20/80 or 0.25. Value 1.00 indicates no differences between the two groups.

OR search for term

An odds ratio is one of several ways to summarise the association between an exposure and an outcome, such as a disease. (Another commonly used approach is to calculaterelative risks.)
Odds ratios compare the odds of the outcome in an exposed group with the odds of the same outcome in an unexposed group. Odds tell us how likely it is that an event will occur compared to the likelihood that the event will not happen. Odds of 1:3 that an event occurs, e.g. that a horse wins in a race, means the horse will win once and lose three times (over four races). Odds ratios are a way of comparing events across groups who are exposed and those who aren't.

oral search for term

Pertaining to the mouth.

oral search for term

Relating to the mouth.

oral cavity search for term

the mouth

oral lesions search for term

A zone of tissue within the oral cavity (the mouth) with impaired function as a result of damage by disease or wounding.

oral lichen planus search for term

A chronic autoimmune disease of the lining of the mouth. It is not a cancer nor is it infectious.

oral submucous fibrosis search for term

Chronic disease of the oral cavity characterised by the progressive build up of constricting bands of collagen in the cheeks and adjacent structures of the mouth. It can cause problems with speech and swallowing and severely restrict mouth opening and tongue movement.

orthodontic appliances search for term

An appliance used to move teeth as part of orthodontic treatment. Examples include: - Fixed appliances (braces where the components are attached to the teeth for the duration of the treatment); - Removable appliances (braces that can be removed from the mouth for cleaning during treatment); - Functional appliances (braces that aim to move the teeth and modify the growth of the jaws. They can either be removable from the mouth or fixed to the teeth during treatment).

orthodontics search for term

The branch of dentistry concerned with the growth and development of the face and jaws and the treatment of irregularities of the teeth.

orthognathic surgery search for term

Surgical correction of severe malocclusion, in which development of one or both jaws is abnormal, to improve facial appearance. It needs to be carried out in combination with orthodontic treatment and may involve surgery to one or both jaws.

orthograde search for term

Having straight posture. Movement or progress in the forward direction.

orthopaedic search for term

Referring to the branch of surgery concerned with the bones and joints.

OSA search for term

Obstructive sleep apnoea. A condition where partial blockage to breathing in the mouth and at the back of the throat leads to short periods of interruption of breathing while asleep. Such breathing while asleep is noisy, as in snoring

osseointergrated implants search for term

Consist of a number of special titanium alloy inserts, placed in the jawbone, onto which abutments (support for an artificial tooth) are fitted after the bone has healed. Later an artificial-tooth superstructure is attached to the abutments.

ossicles search for term

the three small bones (the incus, the malleus and the stapes) in the middle ear that transmit sound from the eardrum to the inner ear; adjective: OSSICULAR.

osteoclast search for term

A large multinucleate (more than one nuclei) cell that resorbs calcified bone. Osteoclasts are only found when bone is being resorbed and may be seen in small depressions on the bone surface.

osteoclasts search for term

A large multinucleate (more than one nuclei) cell that resorbs calcified bone. Osteoclasts are only found when bone is being resorbed and may be seen in small depressions on the bone surface.

osteomyelitis search for term

Inflammation of bone due to infection.

osteomyelitis search for term

Inflammation in the marrow of a bone, can occur as a complication of infected diabetic foot ulcers.

osteoprosis search for term

Loss of bony tissue, resulting in bones that are brittle and liable to fracture.

osteoradionecrosis search for term

Bone that has died as a complication of radiation therapy.

osteotomy search for term

A surgical operation to cut a bone into two parts, followed by realignment of the ends to allow healing.

Ostomy search for term

A general term referring to any operation in which an artificial opening is formed between two hollow organs or between one or more such viscera and the abdominal wall for discharge of intestinal contents or urine. An incised opening which is kept open for drainage from a hollow organ. Preterm (for example colo-stomy) refers to which part of the intestine the ostomy is performed.

otalgia search for term

ear arche

otitis search for term

inflammation of the ear

otitis externa search for term

inflammation of the canal between the eardrum and the external opening of the ear

otitis media search for term

inflammation of the middle ear

otitis media with effusion search for term

a chronic accumulation of sticky fluid within the middle ear, leading to hearing loss. Also referred to as secretory otitis media or 'glue ear'

otolaryngology search for term

study of ear, nose and throat diseases

otorhinolaryngology search for term

study of ear, nose and throat diseases

otosclerosis search for term

hereditary / familial disorder in which an overgrowth of the bone of the inner ear leads to a fixation of the small bone that normally transmits sound to the inner ear, making sound transmission impossible

outcome search for term

A measure of the effect of an intervention that is relevant to health care.

Over-diagnosis bias search for term

Screening detects very early lesions. It is possible that some detected cancers would not affect a person in his or her lifetime (the person remaining asymptomatic and dying from some other cause). Because these cancers are more likely to be found in a screened group rather than an unscreened group, comparisons of outcome might favour the screened group, irrespective of any real effect of screening.

oxygen therapy search for term

Application of oxygen to a wound site to promote healing.

ozone search for term

A poisonous gas containing three oxygen atoms per molecule. Ozone is a very powerful oxidizing agent and is formed when oxygen or air is subjected to electric discharge.

P

P search for term

The p-value is a measure of the probability or likelihood that a given effect or event will take place by chance. The smaller the value the more likely that the intervention is responsible for an observed effect.

P-value search for term

The p-value is a measure of the probability or likelihood that a given effect or event will take place by chance. The smaller the value the more likely that the intervention is responsible for an observed effect.

paediatric search for term

Referring to the branch of medical science concerned with children and their diseases.

palate search for term

The roof of the mouth.

Palliative treatment search for term

An intervention form in which the disease is reduced, not cured.

Papule search for term

A 'pimple' which sticks out from the skin, a raised spot

paraesthesia search for term

Spontaneously occurring abnormal tingling sensation, sometimes described as pins and needles.

parafunction search for term

Clenching and grinding of the teeth.

parasymathomimetic search for term

A drug opposing the effects of the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is one of the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system. It increases bodily secretions such as tears, gastric juices, mucus and saliva to defend the body and help digestion.

parasympathetic nervous system search for term

One of the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system. It increases bodily secretions such as tears, gastric juices, mucus and saliva to defend the body and help digestion.

parasympatholytic search for term

A drug opposing the effects of the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is one of the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system. It increases bodily secretions such as tears, gastric juices, mucus and saliva to defend the body and help digestion.

parathyroid search for term

glands situated behind or within the thyroid gland. They produce and release hormones involved in the regulation of calcium and phosphate in the body.

Paronychia search for term

Inflammation involving the folds of tissue surrounding the nail

parotid gland search for term

one of a pair of salivary glands situated in front of each ear

partial denture search for term

A removable artificial or prosthetic substitute for missing natural teeth and adjacent tissues which does not include the replacement of all the teeth in the arch.

participant(s) search for term

Individual(s) who take part in a study.

Participation rate search for term

The total participation rate, calculated as the actual number of people examined divided by the total number of people invited to the examination.

pathogen search for term

Any agent such as bacteria or a virus that is capable of causing disease.

pathosis search for term

A state of disease; a diseased condition.

patient education search for term

the teaching or training of patients concerning their own health needs.

patient education handout search for term

works consisting of a handout or self-contained informative material used to explain a procedure or a condition or the contents of a specific article in a biomedical journal and written in non-technical language for the patient or consumer.

patient participation search for term

patient involvment in the decision making process in matters pertaining to health

patient-centred care search for term

Design of patient care wherein institutional resources and personnel are organized around patients rather than around specialized departments.

patient-controlled analgesia search for term

Pain relief with intravenous administration of narcotic analgesics, where the rate of administration is under the patient’s control. A delivery system is programmed so that overdoses cannot be given.

PCA search for term

Patient-controlled analgesia. Pain relief with intravenous administration of narcotic analgesics, where the rate of administration is under the patient’s control. A delivery system is programmed so that overdoses cannot be given.

peer reviewing search for term

The process of sending articles reporting the outcomes of studies to ‘peers’ for review and comment. It is believed that the peer-review process is a useful quality control activity. In the Cochrane context ‘peer review’ refers to the process of critiquing a protocol or review. It is undertaken by fellow researchers, statisticians, health professionals or consumers. Studies that are not of sufficient quality will not be published if their faults are not corrected. Journals that use peer review are considered to be of better quality than those which do not.

pencil and paper tests search for term

Also known as cognitive assessment or screening tests. These type of tests cannot diagnose dementia as they test limited domains of cognition. They can be useful in identifying someone needing further investigation and are also useful if done serially to map any change in cognition over time.

The most common are Mini-mental Status Examination (MMSE), Clock Draw and GPCOG, Geriatric Depression Scale, IQCODE, Frontal Assessment Battery, and Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale cognitive sub-scale (ADAS-Cog)

pentothal search for term

A commonly used brand of thiopentone.

percutaneous search for term

Effected or performed through the skin

perforation search for term

A hole or puncture.

perfusion search for term

The transfer of fluid through tissue.

periapical search for term

Around the apex (the tip of the root) of a tooth.

pericoronitus search for term

Inflammation of the gum around the crown of a tooth.

Perilesional search for term

Occurring around a lesion (or white patch in the case of vitiligo)

perilymph search for term

inflammation of cartilage and surrounding soft tissues

perimucositis search for term

The prescence of a plaque-induced inflammation that does not cause bone loss around the dental implant.

periodontal disease search for term

A disease of the supporting tissues of the teeth - (the gums, periodontal membrane, cementum and bone around the tooth socket).

perioperative search for term

Relating to, occurring in, or being the period around the time of a surgical operation (the pre-, intra- and postoperative period)

periosteum search for term

A layer of dense connective tissue that covers the surface of a bone.

peripheral search for term

In an extremity, such as an arm or leg. Opposite to central.

peripheral search for term

Outlying. For example: peripheral neuropathy - affects the nerves in the outlying parts of the body; peripheral vascular disease - disease of the small blood vessels close to the surface of the skin.

periradicular radiolucency search for term

An area of relative darkness on a radiograph adjacent to the roots of the tooth, due to increased absorption of the x-ray beam. It is commonly associated with the loss of bone density as a result of infection or other pathological (disease) processes.

peritonsillar abscess search for term

Or quinsy. abscess in the space between the tonsil and the wall of the pharynx (the pharynx is the muscular tube serving as passageway for air from the nose and mouth, and for food and liquid)

Periungal search for term

Occurring around the nail

person years search for term

Person years describes the accumulated amount of time that all the people in the study were being followed up. So, if five people were followed up for ten years each, this would be equivalent to 50 person-years of follow up. Sometimes the rate of an event in a study is given per person year rather than as a simple proportion of people affected, to take into account the fact that different people in the study may have been followed up for different lengths of time.
Person years describes the accumulated amount of time that all the people in the study were being followed up. So, if five people were followed up for ten years each, this would be equivalent to 50 person-years of follow up. Sometimes the rate of an event in a study is given per person year rather than as a simple proportion of people affected, to take into account the fact that different people in the study may have been followed up for different lengths of time.

pethidine search for term

A strong narcotic painkiller, such as morphine.

phagocytic search for term

Cells, including white blood cells and macrophages, which envelop and digest bacteria, cells, cell debris and other small particles.

pharmacology search for term

The part of medical science dealing with knowledge of the action of drugs.

pharmoacotherapy search for term

treatment with drugs

pharyngeal pouch search for term

abnormal sac or pouch arising from the pharynx, the muscular tube serving as passageway for air from the nose and mouth, and for food and liquid

pharynx search for term

muscular tube serving as passageway for air from the nose and mouth, and for food and liquid. The part of the pharynx involving the nose is referred to as NASOPHARYNX, the part extending from the mouth to the top of the larynx is called the OROPHARYNX, and the lowermost part is called the HYPOPHARYNX or LARYNGOPHARYNX.

phase I trials search for term

Phase I trials are the early phases of drug testing in humans. These are usually quite small studies which primarily test the drug’s safety and suitability for use in humans, rather than its effectiveness. They often involve between 20 and 100 healthy volunteers, although they sometimes involve people who have the condition that the drug is aimed at treating. To test the drug’s safe dosage range, very small doses are given initially and are gradually increased until the levels suitable for use in humans are found.
These studies also test how the drug behaves in the body, examining how it is absorbed, where it is distributed, how it leaves the body and how long it takes to do this.

phase II trials search for term

During this phase of testing, a drug’s effectiveness in treating the targeted disease in humans is examined for the first time and more is learnt about appropriate dosage levels.
This stage usually involves 200 to 400 volunteers who have the disease or condition that the drug is designed to treat. The drug’s effectiveness is examined and more safety testing and monitoring of the drug’s side effects are carried out.

phase III trials search for term

In this phase of human testing of treatments, the effectiveness and safety of the drug undergoes a rigorous examination in a large, carefully controlled trial to see how well it works and how safe it is. The drug is tested in a much larger sample of people with the disease or condition than before, with some trials including thousands of volunteers. Participants are followed up for longer than in previous phases, sometimes over several years.
These controlled tests usually compare the new drug’s effectiveness with either existing drugs or a placebo. These trials are designed to give the drug as unbiased a test as possible to ensure that the results accurately represent its benefits and risks. The large numbers of participants and the extended period of follow-up give a more reliable indication of whether the drug will work and allows rarer or longer-term side effects to be identified.

phenotype search for term

The observable characteristics of an individual, which result from interaction between the genes he possesses (genotype) and the environment.

Phenotypic changes search for term

The expected changes or features expressed in a disease developing process that helps recognition and diagnosis of the disease.

phlebitis search for term

Inflammation of the veins, usually confined to a small area.

PHN search for term

Postherpetic neuralgia: Pain occurring after herpes zoster (shingles)

Photodynamic therapy search for term

The application of a cream to induce photo damage to a tumour using varying light sources

Phototoxicity search for term

An adverse reaction to ultraviolet light or sunlight caused by medication or chemicals

physicians search for term

Doctors who specialise in internal medicine - that is, in diseases of the body not usually associated with the need for surgery. Also known as ‘internists’.

Pierre Robin Syndrome search for term

A congenital (born with) disease in which affected infants have a very small lower jawbone (mandible) and a cleft palate (separation of the roof of the mouth).

pigmentation search for term

colouring

Pigmented search for term

Coloured

Pilar keratosis search for term

Rough bumps around hair follicles, most commonly on the back and outer side of the upper arms

Pilonidal cyst search for term

Abscess between the buttocks over the anus

pilonidal sinus search for term

A wound, thought to derive from hair follicles in the cleft between the buttocks. May become infected and cause considerable pain.

Pilosebaceous search for term

Relating to the hair follicles and sebaceous glands

pinna search for term

external part of the ear (composed of skin and cartilage)

pit and fissure sealant search for term

An impermeable material that is bonded to the occlusal (chewing) surface of posterior teeth to seal the fine grooves (fissures) and pits in the enamel surface of the tooth, to prevent dental caries.

placebo search for term

An intervention that to all intents and purposes appears to be the same as that which is being assessed but which does not have the active component being assessed.

placebo effect search for term

A change due to an expectation that the treatment or procedure will have an effect rather than the treatment or procedure itself.

placenta search for term

The organ that grows in the uterus with the developing baby and provides a connection with the mother, so that oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other nutrients and waste products can be exchanged between the mother’s and baby’s bloodstreams.

Plantar search for term

Relating to the sole of the foot

Plaque search for term

A patch of abnormal skin, more than one cm in diameter, which feels different from the rest of the skin

plaque search for term

The sticky layer, composed of bacteria in an organic matrix that constantly forms on the teeth, principally from the neck and can be removed by effective toothbrushing.

plastic surgery search for term

The branch of surgery concerned with repair or reconstruction of missing, injured or malformed parts or tissues - particularly the skin and its underlying structures.

platelets search for term

Small spherical bodies in the blood, platelets play an important part in the process of blood coagulation (clots).

Podiatry search for term

The study and care of the foot

polyp search for term

a growth, usually benign, protruding from a mucous membrane

Polyposis search for term

The condition of having many polyps in the large bowel

Polyposis syndrome search for term

Familial/Inheritated polyposis.

polyps search for term

Swollen lumps of tissue, usually in the nose or bowel.

population search for term

This term can refer to the participants involved in a healthcare study; it can also refer to a general population of people.

Population screening search for term

An organised screening of large groups of people - also described as 'mass screening'. Population screening differs from opportunistic screening, in which tests are offered on an ad-hoc basis to certain individuals of the population.

Positive predictive value search for term

The probability of a person showing a positive test result in fact having the disease.

positive predictive value search for term

This is one of a set of measures used to show how accurate a diagnostic test is (see sensitivity, specificity and negative predictive value). The positive predictive value (PPV) of a test is how well the test identifies people who have a disease. The PPV is the proportion of people with a positive test result who truly have the disease. For example, if a test has a PPV of 99%, this means that 99% of the people who test positive will have the disease, while 1% of those who test positive will not have the disease (false positives).
The PPV of a test varies depending on how common the disease is in the population being tested. A test’s PPV tends to be higher in populations where the disease is more common and lower in populations where the disease is less common.

post-operative search for term

Relating to, occurring in, or being the period following a surgical operation.

Post-thrombotic ulcers search for term

Ulcers caused by poor venous return due to blockage of the veins, following a blood clot (thrombosis).

posterior crossbites search for term

A condition where the biting relationship of opposing back teeth is the reverse of the normal relationship.

Postherpetic neuralgia search for term

Also known as 'PHN', Pain occurring after herpes zoster (shingles)

postoperative search for term

After the operation.

postoperative search for term

Relating to, occurring in, or being the period following a surgical operation

power search for term

The probability that a specified difference between control and intervention groups will be significant at a designated significance level, typically 5%, affected by the number of participants in a study such that larger studies have more power.

pre-clinical evaluations search for term

These are in vitro (for example, in cell cultures) and in vivo laboratory animal tests on drugs in development, which are carried out to ensure that they are safe and effective before they go on to be tested in humans (clinical studies).

prehospital search for term

Occurring before or during transportation (as of a trauma victim) to a hospital

premedication search for term

The administration of medication to a patient before anaesthesia. This medication may include drugs to relieve pain, sedatives, anti-emetics, or specific treatments, as well as the patient’s normal medication(s).

premedication search for term

Preliminary medication; especially medication to induce a relaxed state preparatory to the administration of an anesthetic

preoperative search for term

Occurring, performed, or administered before and usually close to a surgical operation

preoperative search for term

Before the operation.

presbyacsis search for term

the progressive (sensorineural) deafness seen with age (see also SENSORINEURAL HEARING LOSS)

pressure dressing search for term

Dressing which applies pressure to a wound, usually to arrest bleeding.

Pressure redistribution search for term

Equalisation of pressure across an area of skin or tissue to prevent pressure sores.

pressure sore search for term

Or a pressure ulcer: Area of inflamed skin/broken skin, caused by excessive or prolonged pressure shear or friction. This prevents adequate blood flow to the skin and finally the death of skin and underlying tissues

pressure ulcer search for term

Area of inflamed skin/broken skin, caused by excessive or prolonged pressure shear or friction. This prevents adequate blood flow to the skin and finally the death of skin and underlying tissues

Prevalence search for term

The proportion of a population having a particular condition or characteristic: e.g. the percentage of people in a city with a particular disease, or who smoke

prevalence search for term

Prevalence describes how common a particular characteristic (for example, a disease) is in a specific group of people or population at a particular time. Prevalence is usually assessed using a cross sectional study.

probability search for term

A measure of the likelihood of occurrence of an event.

Proctitis search for term

Inflammation of the rectum

Proctoscopy search for term

Visual examination of the rectum with an endoscope (see definition for endoscopy).

prognosis search for term

An assessment of the future course and outcome of a patient's disease, based on knowledge of the course of the disease in other patients together with the general health, age, and sex of the patient.

prognosis search for term

The act or art of foretelling the course of a disease; the prospect of survival and recovery from a disease as anticipated from the usual course of that disease or as indicated by special features of the case

Prophylactic colectomy search for term

Excision of the colon in a person at increased risk of developing a colon cancer.

prophylatic search for term

preventative treatment

prophylaxis search for term

Any means taken to prevent disease.

propofol search for term

A drug used for induction of anaesthesia. It is a white milky liquid and has been used since the late 1980s.

prosopagnosia search for term

Difficulty in recognising faces can be quite a common symptom of dementia. This can be very stressful for the individual, as he may, for instance, mistake a family member for an unknown intruder. Sometimes a person may be more able to recognise someone by their voice or another aspect of their appearance, such as familiar clothing.

prospective observational study search for term

This study identifies a group of people and follows them over a period of time to see how their exposures affect their outcomes. A prospective observational study is normally used to look at the effect of suspected risk factors that cannot be controlled experimentally, such as the effect of smoking on lung cancer.

prospective study search for term

A prospective study asks a specific study question (usually about how a particular exposure affects an outcome), recruits appropriate participants and looks at the exposures and outcomes of interest in these people over the following months or years.

prostaglandin search for term

One of a group of hormone-like substances present in a wide variety of tissues and body fluids. Prostaglandins have many actions; for example, they cause contraction of smooth muscle, dilation of blood vessels, and are mediators in the process of inflammation (aspirin and other pain killers known as NSAIDs act by blocking their production). They are also involved in the production of mucus in the stomach, which provides protection against acid gastric juice; use of NSAIDs reduces this effect and predisposes to peptic ulceration (stomach ulcers), the principal side-effect of these drugs

prosthodontics search for term

A branch of dentistry which is involved in the restoration and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of the patient by the replacement of missing teeth or tissues by artificial means.

protocol search for term

In the Cochrane context a protocol is an outline of a healthcare question, its relevance, and how reviewers intend to go about answering the question. The process of developing a protocol is aimed at improving the quality of a future review and minimising bias by deciding beforehand the methods, selection criteria and outcomes to be assessed. A protocol is refereed (peer reviewed) and published in The Cochrane Library to invite feedback as to the usefulness of the question and the process as outlined.

Pruritus search for term

Itching

pseudarthorosis search for term

A 'false' joint, formed around a displaced bone end after dislocation. A pseudarthrosis also forms when a fracture fails to unite and the bone ends are separated by fibrous tissue.

Psoriasis search for term

A common skin condition, characterised by persistent localised scaly pink patches, often on the elbows, knees and scalp.

Psoriasis search for term

A common skin condition characterised by persistent localised scaly pink patches on the elbows, knees, and scalp

psychotherapy search for term

Psychological methods for the treatment of mental disorders and psychological problems.

publication bias search for term

Publication bias arises because researchers and editors tend to handle positive experimental results differently from negative or inconclusive results. It is especially important to detect publication bias in studies that pool the results of several trials.

pulmonary search for term

Relating to, functioning like, associated with, or carried on by the lungs

pulp search for term

(dental) The vascular (blood vessels) and connective tissue at the core of the tooth.

pulp chamber search for term

The cavity at the core of a tooth crown, surrounded by dentine and containing dental pulp remnants. Dental pulp is made up of blood vessels and connective tissue.

pulse oximeter search for term

A monitor that measures the saturation or percentage of oxygen in the bloodstream and the heart rate. The sensor probe is a simple wrap-around or peg-like device that is attached to a finger, toe, or earlobe.

Pulse Oximeter search for term

A device that determines the oxygen saturation of the blood of an anaesthetized patient using a sensor attached to a finger, yields a computerized readout, and sounds an alarm if the blood saturation becomes less than optimal

pustules search for term

Pus-filled spots

Q

QALY search for term

QALY means Quality-adjusted life year. Each year of life gained by a health programme is weighed by the value of that year. The weight for a year of good health is 1; the weight for a year of poorer health or disability is less than 1. QALYs are used in comparisons of programmes which yield different levels of improvement in health status.

quadhelix appliance search for term

A brace that is attached by metal rings on the top back teeth which are joined by a metal framework consisting of inner and outer arms with a coil at each corner allowing the appliance and hence top teeth and/or jaw to be expanded.

qualitative research search for term

Qualitative research uses individual in-depth interviews, focus groups or questionnaires to collect, analyse and interpret data on what people do and say. It reports on the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols and descriptions of things. It is more subjective than quantitative research and is often exploratory and open-ended. The interviews and focus groups involve relatively small numbers of people.

Quality-adjusted life year search for term

(QALY), each year of life gained by a health programme is weighed by the value of that year. The weight for a year of good health is 1; the weight for a year of poorer health or disability is less than 1. QALYs are used in comparisons of programmes which yield different levels of improvement in health status.

quantitative research search for term

Quantitative research uses statistical methods to count and measure outcomes from a study. The outcomes are usually objective and predetermined. A large number of participants are usually involved to ensure that the results are statistically significant.

quasi-randomised controlled trial search for term

This term is loosely used to refer to randomised controlled trials where the method of allocation to the different groups is not sufficiently rigorous to ensure allocation concealment. These methods include alternate patients and allocating patients by birth dates.

questionnaire search for term

A questionnaire is a prepared set of written questions used to obtain information from research participants. Questionnaires can be completed on paper, using a computer or with an interviewer.

quiescence search for term

A state of quiet (but possibly temporary) inaction, dormancy.

quinsy search for term

abscess in the space between the tonsil and the wall of the pharynx (the pharynx is the muscular tube serving as passageway for air from the nose and mouth, and for food and liquid)

R

radiologist search for term

A doctor who specialises in diagnosing illnesses and other conditions through the use of X-rays and other imaging techniques.

radiolucent search for term

Offering little resistance to X-Rays in radiography; almost transparent.

Ramsay Hunt syndrome search for term

Also known as 'herpes zoster oticus', a viral infection of the facial nerve, causing facial paralysis and loss of taste, also pain in the ear and in other parts supplied by the nerve

randomisation search for term

A method based on chance alone by which study participants are assigned to a treatment group. Randomization minimizes the differences among groups by equally distributing people with particular characteristics among all the trial arms. The researchers do not know which treatment is better. From what is known at the time, any one of the treatments chosen could be of benefit to the participant.

randomised controlled trial search for term

A study design in which individuals are assigned, by special randomisation techniques, to two or more groups where one group receives the intervention under investigation and the other(s) receives no treatment, a placebo, or a standard intervention.

Randomised controlled trials search for term

Or RCTs. A test in which persons in a population are randomly divided into two groups, usually called study group and
control groups. Overall to compare the effect of one intervention to another (or placebo).

randomised crossover trial search for term

This is a study in which people receive all of the treatments and controls being tested in a random order. This means that people receive one treatment, the effect of which is measured, and then 'cross over' into the other treatment group, where the effect of the second treatment (or control) is measured.

randomization search for term

A method based on chance alone by which study participants are assigned to a treatment group. Randomization minimizes the differences among groups by equally distributing people with particular characteristics among all the trial arms. The researchers do not know which treatment is better. From what is known at the time, any one of the treatments chosen could be of benefit to the participant.

randomized search for term

A method based on chance alone by which study participants are assigned to a treatment group. Randomization minimizes the differences among groups by equally distributing people with particular characteristics among all the trial arms. The researchers do not know which treatment is better. From what is known at the time, any one of the treatments chosen could be of benefit to the participant.

randomized controlled trial search for term

A study design in which individuals are assigned, by special randomisation techniques, to two or more groups where one group receives the intervention under investigation and the other(s) receives no treatment, a placebo, or a standard intervention.

randomized crossover trial search for term

This is a study in which people receive all of the treatments and controls being tested in a random order. This means that people receive one treatment, the effect of which is measured, and then 'cross over' into the other treatment group, where the effect of the second treatment (or control) is measured.

rapid sequence induction search for term

Rapid induction of anaesthesia because of a risk of vomiting or regurgitation.

RCT search for term

Means Randomised controlled trials. A test in which persons in a population are randomly divided into two groups, usually called study group and control groups. Overall to compare the effect of one intervention to another (or placebo).

RCT search for term

A study design in which individuals are assigned, by special randomisation techniques, to two or more groups where one group receives the intervention under investigation and the other(s) receives no treatment, a placebo, or a standard intervention.

RCTs search for term

A study design in which individuals are assigned, by special randomisation techniques, to two or more groups where one group receives the intervention under investigation and the other(s) receives no treatment, a placebo, or a standard intervention.

RD search for term

Means 'risk difference'. The absolute difference in the event rate (see definition) between two comparison groups. An RD of zero incites no differences between the comparison groups. For undesirable outcomes an RD less than zero indicates that the intervention was effective in reducing the risk for that particular outcome.

re-approximating search for term

Bringing together the edges or surfaces of a cut or laceration.

recall bias search for term

Recall bias is when a person’s recall of their exposure to a suspected disease risk factor could be influenced by the knowledge that they are now suffering from that particular disease. For example someone who has suffered a heart attack may recall having a highly stressed job. The stress that they now report experiencing may now be subtly different than the stress they would have reported at the time, before they developed the disease.

Recovery Room search for term

The area near the Operating Room to which a patient is transferred to continue recovery from both the anaesthesia and the surgery.

referee search for term

In the Cochrane context, this refers to the person(s) to whom a protocol or review is sent for critiquing. Referees are usually fellow researchers, statisticians, health professionals or consumers of health care.

Refractory to treatment search for term

Does not respond (well) to treatment

Refractory to treatment search for term

Does not respond (well) to treatment

regimen search for term

A prescribed health system: - medication, diet or exercise.

regional anesthesia search for term

Anaesthesia of a region of the body

regurgitation search for term

The passage of fluid or partially digested food back up the oesophagus from the stomach to the mouth. Regurgitation does not imply active vomiting.

relapse search for term

The return of the teeth to their initial position after orthodontic treatment with (dental) braces. Unfavourable change from their corrected position.

relative risk search for term

A measure expressed by the risk of an event in the group receiving the intervention divided by the risk in the control group. A value of one implies no effect of treatment; less than one that the intervention reduced the risk of an event; and greater than one that the occurrence of the event is increased.This measure of risk is often expressed as a percentage increase or decrease, for example ‘a 20% increase in risk’ of treatment A compared to treatment B. If the relative risk is 300%, it may also be expressed as ‘a three-fold increase’.

Relative risk search for term

Also known as 'RR'. The ratio of risk in the intervention group compared to the risk in the control group. The risk is the ratio of people with an event compared to the total in the group. RR value one (1.00) indicates no difference between comparison groups. For undesirable outcomes an RR less than one indicates that the intervention was effective.

relative risk ratio search for term

A measure expressed by the risk of an event in the group receiving the intervention divided by the risk in the control group. A value of one implies no effect of treatment; less than one that the intervention reduced the risk of an event; and greater than one that the occurrence of the event is increased.This measure of risk is often expressed as a percentage increase or decrease, for example ‘a 20% increase in risk’ of treatment A compared to treatment B. If the relative risk is 300%, it may also be expressed as ‘a three-fold increase’.

Reminyl search for term

Reminyl (galantamine) was co-developed by Shire Pharmaceuticals and the Janssen Research Foundation. Originally derived from the bulbs of snowdrops and narcissi, it was the third drug licensed in the UK specifically for Alzheimer's disease.

research search for term

The term research means different things to different people, but is essentially about finding out new knowledge that could lead to changes to treatments, policies or care.
The definition used by the Department of Health is: “The attempt to derive generalisable new knowledge by addressing clearly defined questions with systematic and rigorous methods.”

resection search for term

The surgical removal of a portion of any part of the body.

Resection search for term

Removal of a part of an organ

resin-bonded bridge search for term

Fills a space in the teeth by using a synthetic (often porcelain) tooth with a backing (usually metal) which extends one or more of the adjacent natural teeth. The backing is bonded to the surface of the adjacent teeth using a modern resin-based adhesive material

resorption search for term

Any type of dental filling or crown, which is aimed at restoring a tooth to its normal form, function and appearance.

respiratory therapist search for term

A trained health worker who specialises in the case of breathing, especially in severe illness.

restoration search for term

(dentistry) Any type of dental filling or crown, which is aimed at restoring a tooth to its normal form, function and appearance.

restorative dentistry search for term

A branch of dentistry concerned with the replacement of tooth substance or missing teeth to restore oral function.

retainer search for term

An orthodontic appliance that holds the teeth in position at the end of active treatment. Retainers can either be removable or fixed to the teeth.

retention search for term

(orthodontics) A phase of orthodontic treatment which attempts to keep teeth in the corrected position after treatment with orthodontic (dental) braces.

retinoid search for term

Any one of a group of drugs derived from vitamin A.

retromolar trigone search for term

the space behind the last molar teeth

retropharyngeal search for term

behind the pharynx, the muscular tube serving as passageway for air from the nose and mouth, and for food and liquid.

retrospective study search for term

A retrospective study relies on data on exposures and/or outcomes that have already been collected (through medical records or as part of another study). Data used in this way may not be as reliable as data collected prospectively as it relies on the accuracy of records made at the time and on people’s recall of events in the past, which can be inaccurate (referred to as recall bias).

review search for term

In the Cochrane context, this refers to a ‘systematic review’. In the broader healthcare context it refers to any attempt to synthesise the results of more than one study on a particular topic area.

reviewer search for term

In the Cochrane context, this term is used to refer to the authors undertaking a systematic review. In the broader health care context this term refers to a person undertaking a review (assessment for quality relevance etc) of other people’s work.

rheumatoid search for term

Chronic inflammation of linings of joints, tendons, sheaths or bursae.

rheumatoid arthritis search for term

An inflammatory condition of joints and tendons. Can be very painful and debilitating.

rheumatoid ulcer search for term

Area of skin loss (see ulcer) resulting from rheumatic disease.

rhinitis search for term

inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose, leading to symptoms such as a "runny" or "stuffy" nose.

rhinoplasty search for term

surgery to alter the shape of the nose, sometimes using tissue from elsewhere in the body or artificial implants

rhinorrhea search for term

persistent watery discharge from the nose

rhinorrhoea search for term

A persistent watery mucous discharge from the nose, as in the common cold.

rigorous methods search for term

1. Collate: we gather all published and reported material from around the world, in every language, on any given medical subject.
2. Assess: we review all the research against our rigorous methodological criteria.
3. Synthesise: we analyse and compile the findings of all the scientifically valid studies and create reports that illustrate an intervention's effectiveness.
4. Disseminate: we make the information available in easily digestible summaries, accessible to everyone, on Cochrane Summaries

risk search for term

A way of expressing the chance of an event taking place, expressed as the number of events divided by the total number of observations or people. It can be stated as ‘the chances of falling were one in four’ (1/4 = 25%). This measure is good no matter the incidence of events ie common or infrequent.

Risk assessment scales search for term

Criteria used to determine those aspects of a person's condition, lifestyle or environment that increase the probability of occurrence of a disease or condition. For example, pressure ulcer risk assessment scales are used to help predict which people are at high risk of developing a sore and therefore who requires additional treatment to prevent an ulcer.

Risk difference search for term

Also known as RD. The absolute difference in the event rate (see definition) between two comparison groups. An RD of zero incites no differences between the comparison groups. For undesirable outcomes an RD less than zero indicates that the intervention was effective in reducing the risk for that particular outcome.

risk difference search for term

A measure obtained by subtracting the risk of an event happening in one group from that in another group. It is usually expressed as a percentage (x 100).

Risk factor search for term

An aspect of a person's condition, lifestyle or environment which increases the probability of occurrence of a disease.

risk ratio search for term

A measure expressed by the risk of an event in the group receiving the intervention divided by the risk in the control group. A value of one implies no effect of treatment; less than one that the intervention reduced the risk of an event; and greater than one that the occurrence of the event is increased.This measure of risk is often expressed as a percentage increase or decrease, for example ‘a 20% increase in risk’ of treatment A compared to treatment B. If the relative risk is 300%, it may also be expressed as ‘a three-fold increase’.

Rosacea search for term

Chronic inflammatory skin condition characterised by redness and spots on the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead

RR search for term

Means 'relative risk'. The ratio of risk in the intervention group compared to the risk in the control group. The risk is the ratio of people with an event compared to the total in the group. RR value one (1.00) indicates no difference between comparison groups. For undesirable outcomes an RR less than one indicates that the intervention was effective.

RR search for term

A measure expressed by the risk of an event in the group receiving the intervention divided by the risk in the control group. A value of one implies no effect of treatment; less than one that the intervention reduced the risk of an event; and greater than one that the occurrence of the event is increased.This measure of risk is often expressed as a percentage increase or decrease, for example ‘a 20% increase in risk’ of treatment A compared to treatment B. If the relative risk is 300%, it may also be expressed as ‘a three-fold increase’.

RRR search for term

A measure expressed by the risk of an event in the group receiving the intervention divided by the risk in the control group. A value of one implies no effect of treatment; less than one that the intervention reduced the risk of an event; and greater than one that the occurrence of the event is increased.This measure of risk is often expressed as a percentage increase or decrease, for example ‘a 20% increase in risk’ of treatment A compared to treatment B. If the relative risk is 300%, it may also be expressed as ‘a three-fold increase’.

S

Salmon patches search for term

A dyschromia/discolouration of the nails resembling an oil patch

Scabies search for term

Contagious itch or mange especially with exudative crusts (exuding pus) that is caused by parasitic mites and especially by a mite of the genus Sarcoptes (S. scabiei)

scarring search for term

Dense, fibrous tissue on the surface of a healed wound, ulcer or other breach of tissue.

sclerotherapy search for term

Treatment of dilated veins by the injection of an irritant solution to cause swelling and clotting which closes off the vein. The vein turns into scar tissue that fades from view.

screening search for term

The examination of a defined population of high risk in developing a specific disease.

screening pathway search for term

The stages of an organised approach to screening. These include identification and invitation the eligible population on a regular basis among other factors. The pathway also includes monitoring and evaluation of all of these stages.

search strategy search for term

In the Cochrane context, this refers to the way a search is carried out to identify publications or reports that are relevant to a review process. Bias can be minimised and the quality of the review improved by the thoroughness of the search.

sebaceous glands search for term

Small glands in the skin that secrete an oily lubricant into hair follicles, or over the surface of most of the body.

secondary analysis search for term

A secondary analysis is when researchers revisit data that was collected for a different reason and analyse it again to answer a new research question. This type of analysis is sometimes prone to errors.

secretory ottis media search for term

a chronic accumulation of sticky fluid within the middle ear, leading to hearing loss. Also referred to as otitis media with effusion or 'Glue Ear'

sedation search for term

A state of calmness, or the process of producing such a state. Usually achieved by the use of sedative drugs.

sedation search for term

The production of a restful state of mind, particularly by the use of drugs.

sedative search for term

Tending to calm, moderate, or tranquillise nervousness or excitement

selection bias search for term

Selection bias is a distortion of evidence or data that arises from the way that the data is collected.

selection criteria search for term

In the Cochrane context, this refers to criteria which set out the types of healthcare studies, participants, interventions and outcomes that determine which studies are to be included in a systematic review. This helps review authors search for and identify studies and is aimed to minimise bias.

sensitivity search for term

The probability of a positive result of an examination if the disease is in fact present.

sensitivity search for term

This is one of a set of measures used to show the accuracy of a diagnostic test (see specificity, negative predictive value and positive predictive value). Sensitivity is the proportion of people with a disease who are correctly identified as having that disease by the diagnostic test. For example, if a test has a sensitivity of 90%, this means that it correctly identified 90% of the people with the disease, but missed 10% (these people were ‘false negatives’ on the test).

sensitivity analysis search for term

A determination of the reliability of a result by assessing confounders or influencing factors that may affect the outcomes measured. This may be done by repeating statistical analyses leaving out poorer quality studies or studies with relevant differences in the characteristics of the participants for example.

sensorineural hearing loss search for term

hearing loss due to a defect in the inner ear or in the nerves conducting the sound information to the brain

separators search for term

Small rubber bands that make the space for metal orthodontic band attachments around the back teeth.

septicaemia search for term

The widespread destruction of tissues due to absorption of disease containing bacteria or their toxins from the bloodstream. The term is also used loosely for any form of blood poisoning.

septum search for term

partition or dividing wall within an anatomical structure (for example, nasal septum)

sequestration search for term

The formation of a fragment of dead bone and its separation from the surrounding tissue.

seroma search for term

A mass or swelling caused by the localized accumulation of serum within a tissue or organ.

serosa search for term

Thin cellular membrane and underlying connective tissue, lining the organ.

shear search for term

Force acting along the line of the edge of the skin. One of three factors known to contribute to the development of pressure ulcers.

sialadenitis search for term

inflammation of a salivary gland

sialolothiasis search for term

condition in which salivary gland stones (calculi) are produced

sickle skin ulcer search for term

Area of skin loss (see ulcer) resulting from sickle cell disease.

Sigmoid colon search for term

Lower part of the descending colon

sinus search for term

A tract leading from a deep infected area to a surface; a hollow space in a bone or bony structure.

sinuses search for term

air cavities (hollow space) within the bones of the face or skull

sinusitis search for term

inflammation of the sinuses

skin abscess search for term

A localised collection of pus, surrounded by damaged and inflamed tissue.

Skin cancer search for term

A general term usually used to denote the three types of growths in the skin. The commonest type is basal cell carcinoma, or rodent ulcer, followed by squamous cell carcinoma and finally by the much rarer melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma doesn't spread and virtually never kills people. Squamous cell carcinoma can occasionally spread to lymph nodes and other organs. Melanoma if caught early is curable, but if it has spread deep down into the skin and blood stream, it can spread to other organs of the body like other cancers

Skin grafting search for term

Treatment for large areas of damaged skin (eg in burns). Healthy skin is taken from an area such as the thigh or stomach and applied to the wound site to promote healing and reduce scarring.

social support search for term

support systems that provide assistance and encouragement to individuals with physical or emotional disabilities in order that they may better cope. Informal social support is usually provided by friends, relatives or peers, while formal assistance is provided by churches, groups, etc.

somatic mutations search for term

Any mutation of a cell in the body that is not a reproductive cell (sex cell).

spasm search for term

a sustained involuntary muscular contraction

specificity search for term

This is one of a set of measures used to assess the accuracy of a diagnostic test (see sensitivity, negative predictive value and positive predictive value). Specificity is the proportion of people without a disease who are correctly identified as not having that disease by the diagnostic test. For example, if a test has a specificity of 95%, this means that it correctly identified 95% of the people who did not have the disease, but that 5% of people without the disease were incorrectly diagnosed as having the disease (these people were ‘false positives’ on the test).

specificity search for term

The probability of screening negative if the disease is in fact absent.

sphincter search for term

A ringlike band of muscle fibres that constricts a passage or close a natural orifice.

Spinal Anaesthesia search for term

Anaesthesia produced by injection of an anesthetic into the subarachnoid space of the spine

Spinal Anesthesia search for term

Anaesthesia produced by injection of an anesthetic into the subarachnoid space of the spine

Splenic flexure search for term

The bend in the colon between the transverse and descending colon (beneath the spleen).

sputum search for term

Spittle or mucus and other material coughed up from the lungs.

standard deviation search for term

A measure of the variability of a measurement and therefore the precision of a mean value.

standard treatment search for term

The treatment, procedure or intervention that is normally or conventionally given for a condition.

stapedectomy search for term

surgical removal of the stapes bone (a stirrup shaped bone in the middle ear) and replacement with a prosthetic bone

stapes search for term

stirrup shaped bone in the middle ear

statistical analysis search for term

The process of examining collected numerical measurements in order to determine if they are a fair representation of a situation, what value or significance can be given to them, and consequently the size and numerical significance of an intervention effect.

statistical significance search for term

If the results of a test have statistical significance, it means that they are not likely to have occurred by chance alone. In such cases, we can be more confident that we are observing a ‘true’ result.

statistically significant search for term

If the results of a test have statistical significance, it means that they are not likely to have occurred by chance alone. In such cases, we can be more confident that we are observing a ‘true’ result.

stellate search for term

Resembling a star in shape.

stenosis search for term

The abnormal narrowing of a passage or opening, such as blood vessel or heart valve eg. valvular stenosis

stenosis search for term

abnormal narrowing of a passage or opening

sternal search for term

Concerned with the sternum, or breastbone.

stomatitis search for term

Inflammation of the mucous lining of the mouth.

stress test search for term

A test that may be performed to estimate the capacity of the heart and lungs to withstand additional stresses, such as those imposed by surgery.

Striae search for term

Stretch marks

stridor search for term

noisy breathing due to obstruction of the TRACHEA (windpipe) or LARYNX

study search for term

A systematic, well-planned investigation of a healthcare problem.

Sub-atmospheric pressure therapy search for term

Also known as negative pressure therapy: Therapy, which involves lowering the air pressure to below normal atmospheric pressure, to suck material from a wound.

Subcutaneous search for term

Beneath the skin

subglottic search for term

Below the glottis, the part of the throat containing the vocal cords and the space between these.

subgroup search for term

When participants of a study are further divided according to factors other than the intervention received eg age, sex, severity of disease or physical condition, dose of intervention or quality of study.

Sublingual search for term

Beneath the tongue

sublingual gland search for term

one of a pair of salivary glands situated in the lower part of the mouth, on either side of the tongue

submandibular gland search for term

one of a pair of salivary glands situated underneath the lower jaw

Subungal hyperkeratosis search for term

A horny (eg wart) growth beneath the nail

sulcus search for term

Inflammation of the mucous lining of the mouth.

suppuration search for term

The formation of pus

suppurative search for term

forming pus

Surveillance search for term

Monitoring people known to have a disease or to be at increased risk of developing a disease. A follow-up program is monitoring end points of a certain intervention.

suture search for term

The series of stitches by which a wound is closed; the union between two neighbouring bones of the skull.

synovitis search for term

Inflammation of the membrane (synovium) that lines a joint capsule, resulting in pain and swelling (arthritis). It is caused by injury, infection, or rheumatic disease.

systematic error search for term

An error that is consistently made throughout a study. It may lead to distortion of results, because of how sampling or data are handled for example.

systematic review search for term

This is a synthesis of the medical research on a particular subject. It uses thorough methods to search for and include all or as much as possible of the research on the topic. Only relevant studies, usually of a certain minimum quality, are included.

systematic reviews search for term

This is a synthesis of the medical research on a particular subject. It uses thorough methods to search for and include all or as much as possible of the research on the topic. Only relevant studies, usually of a certain minimum quality, are included.

systemic search for term

Relating to or affecting the body as a whole, rather than individual parts and organs.

Systemic drug therapy search for term

Therapy involving a drug, which affects the whole of the body and not just a part of it.

T

tartar search for term

Also known as 'calculus', a calcified deposit that forms on the surface of teeth. Cannot be removed by toothbrushing.

taurodontism search for term

A variation in tooth form in which the pulp chamber is enlarged, elongated and extends into the roots.

teaching search for term

the educational process of instructing.

TEM search for term

Transanal endoscopic microsurgery, the local removing of small tumours in rectum

temporomandibular search for term

The joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull.

temporomandibular dysfunction syndrome search for term

A symptom complex consisting of pain, muscle tenderness, clicking in the jaw joint, and limitation or alteration of movement of the lower jaw.

Teratogenicity search for term

Developmental abnormalities in the foetus

Terminal hair search for term

Thicker, longer, and pigmented hair

therapeutic touch search for term

Treatment by a therapist in which they direct healing energy to a body/ part of body either by direct touch or by holding hands near an affected part and transmitting healing energy.

therapy search for term

The treatment of disorders or disease.

thiopentone search for term

A drug used to induce anaesthesia.

thyroglossal search for term

relating to the THYROID gland and the tongue

thyroid search for term

gland in the base of the neck responsible for the production and secretion of certain hormones involved in the regulation of metabolism

thyroid cartilage search for term

The main cartilage of the larynx (voice-box). This is the hard lump known as the Adam’s apple in the front of the neck.

time trend studies search for term

Time trend studies are epidemiological studies that describe characteristics of a population over time. They look at trends at the population level (rather than in individuals) through taking repeated cross sectional samples.

Tinea capitis search for term

A fungal infection of the scalp, also known as 'ringworm'

Tinea pedis search for term

Athlete's foot - a common fungal infection of the feet

tinnitus search for term

any noise (buzzing, ringing etc.) in the ear

tinnitus search for term

The sensation of sounds in the ears or head in the absence of an external sound source.

tissue search for term

The simple elements from which the various parts and organs of the body are built.

tissue engineering search for term

Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of engineering and biological sciences to developing functional substitutes for damaged tissue.

title search for term

In the Cochrane context this refers to the topic of a review. Cochrane titles have a set structure: intervention for an identified health issue (and sometimes in which population). This facilitates finding reviews using The Cochrane Library search mechanism.

titrating search for term

Adjusting the dose of a drug is it is being administered, according to the effect it has on the patient.

Tomia search for term

General term for an incision (a cut), accessing the interior of an organ.

tonsil search for term

a mass of lymphoid tissue at either side of the back of the mouth

topical agent search for term

Drug or other treatment applied locally to the area being treated.

Topical dermatological treatment search for term

A treatment which is applied directly to the skin eg creams and ointments

topical fluoride search for term

The application of fluoride to exposed surfaces of the tooth as a dental caries preventative therapy.

toxicity search for term

Liability to cause damage.

toxicity search for term

The degree or strength of a poison.

trachea search for term

The tube that connects the larynx to the lungs. Commonly known as the windpipe.

trachea search for term

the windpipe, main air passage from the larynx into the lungs

tracheal intubation search for term

The placement of a breathing tube into the trachea or windpipe.

tracheostomy search for term

The surgical formation of an opening into the trachea through the neck especially to allow the passage of air

tracheotomy search for term

The surgical formation of an opening into the trachea through the neck especially to allow the passage of air

transient search for term

Of short duration.

transpalatal arch search for term

A brace which is attached to the back teeth by metal rings around the teeth and connected by a round wire running across the roof of the mouth.

trauma search for term

Term used to describe a wound caused by an injury.

traumatic wound search for term

Wound resulting from injury, e.g. a burn, gunshot wound, laceration or bite.

trial search for term

Clinical trials are research studies involving people who use services, which compare a new or different type of treatment with the best treatment currently available. They test whether the new or different treatment is safe, effective and any better than what already exists. No matter how promising a new treatment may appear during tests in a laboratory, it must go through clinical trials before its benefits and risks can really be known.

triple blind search for term

A study design where the study participants and both the service provider and the assessor of the outcomes do not know the actual intervention received.

trismus search for term

Spasm of the jaw muscles, keeping the jaws tightly closed.

Tropical ulcer search for term

Type of ulcer (q.v.) common in tropical latitudes.

tubular elastic bandage search for term

Elastic fabric, tubular in design, which encloses an area of limb.

tumour search for term

any abnormal swelling in or on a part of the body; usually applied to abnormal growth of tissue, which may be benign or malignant

twin studies search for term

Twin studies rely on comparing the phenotypes (observable physical traits) of monozygotic (genetically identical) twins and dizygotic (non-identical) twin pairs. The difference in correlation between phenotypes in the identical twins and the correlation in phenotypes in the non-identical twins estimate the genetic contribution to variations in phenotype (the within-twin correlation).

two-point expansion appliance search for term

A brace fixed to two back teeth by metal rings around the individual teeth. These are joined together by a wire framework attached to a screw in the mid-line which can be opened to expand the top jaw.

tympanic membrane search for term

ear drum; membrane at the end of the ear canal, separating it from the middle ear

tympanometry search for term

middle ear measurement

tympanoplasty search for term

surgical repair of defects of the ear drum and ossicles

U

ulcer search for term

An open sore, marked by complete loss of the top layer of the skin (epidermis); which does not tend to heal quickly.

Ulcer search for term

Complete loss of the top layer of the skin (epidermis)

ultra sound search for term

Computerized technique using high frequency sound waves (not audible for the human ear), that penetrates some components but not others (bones and air). The registered signals are shown on a monitor.

Ultrasound search for term

Sound of a frequency above 15, 000 cycles per second (15 kHz). Used in health care as a diagnostic tool and in the treatment of acute soft tissue injuries.

ultrasound search for term

The use of sound waves to examine parts of the body. Commonly used during pregnancy to examine the state the growing baby and placenta.

unblinded search for term

A process where the participant, healthcare provider, or person assessing the outcomes knows which intervention the participant is receiving.

Unna boot search for term

Layered dressing developed to treat venous leg ulcers - the layer next to the skin consists of a zinc oxide impregnated cotton bandage, the next layer is a compression bandage.

upper removable expansion plate search for term

URA - A plastic brace covering the roof of the mouth and is attached to the teeth by clips to individual teeth.

URA search for term

Upper removable expansion plate: A plastic brace covering the roof of the mouth and is attached to the teeth by clips to individual teeth.

Urticaria search for term

Hives

uvula search for term

A small soft extension of the soft palate that hangs from the roof of the mouth above the root of the tongue. It is composed of muscle, connective tissue, and mucous membrane.

V

vacuum sealing technique search for term

Any means of sealing the negative pressure device so that a vacuum is created and matter sucked from the wound.

variable search for term

A characteristic or effect that can be measured and quantified in different individuals. See also the Cochrane Collaboration glossary at http://www.cochrane.org/resources/glossary.htm

vascular search for term

Relating to the vessels in the body, which circulate fluid, such as blood.

vascular dementia search for term

Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease. It is a type of dementia caused by problems in the supply of blood to the brain. There are two main types of vascular dementia: one caused by stroke and one caused by small vessel disease. Vascular dementia affects different people in different ways and the speed of the progression varies from person to person. Some symptoms may be similar to those of other types of dementia. However, people with vascular dementia may
particularly experience:
• problems concentrating and communicating
• depression accompanying the dementia
• symptoms of stroke, such as physical weakness or paralysis
• memory problems (although this may not be the first symptom)
• a 'stepped' progression, with symptoms remaining at a constant level and then suddenly deteriorating
• epileptic seizures
• periods of acute confusion.
Other symptoms may include:
• hallucinations (seeing things that do not exist)
• delusions (believing things that are not true)
• walking about and getting lost
• physical or verbal aggression
• restlessness
• incontinence.
[adapted from Alzheimer’s Society website]

Vasculitis search for term

Inflammation of small & medium-sized blood vessels - may be confined to the skin but may involve joints

Vehicle search for term

A substance in which the active ingredient is dispersed. This determines the rate at which the active ingredient is absorbed through the skin

velopharyngeal disorders search for term

disorders related to the soft palate (the soft tissue to the back of the roof of the mouth), causing problems in speech and swallowing

vena cava search for term

The large vein draining venous (deoxygenated) blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart.

veneer search for term

A facing of composite resin or porcelain applied to the surface of a tooth to give improved shape and/or colour.

venepuncture search for term

Frequently carried out procedure of entering a vein with a needle, usually to obtain a sample of blood.

venous search for term

Of the vein(s).

ventilation search for term

The circulation and exchange of gases in the lungs that is basic to respiration (breathing)

ventilator search for term

A mechanical device that acts on the breathing system to move gas into and out of the patient’s lungs.

vertigo search for term

sensation of either the individual or the surroundings being in constant motion (especially spinning) caused by a disorder of the balance organ in the inner ear or by a disorder in the neural conduction of balance information to the brain

Vesicle search for term

Very small blister containing clear fluid

Vesiculation search for term

Formation of blisters, blistering

vestibular nerve search for term

nerve conducting balance information to the brain

vestibular neuritus search for term

inflammation of the vestibular nerve (the nerve conducting balance information to the brain)

vestibule search for term

part of the inner ear that contains the organs of balance

viscera search for term

Expression of the internal bodily organs, most frequently used for abdominal organs.

viscus search for term

Expression of the internal bodily organs, most frequently used for abdominal organs.

Vitiligo search for term

A condition whereby the skin loses its pigmentation (colour) in patches

vocal cords search for term

the two folds of tissue protruding from the sides of the LARYNX to form a narrow slit (GLOTTIS) across the air passage. Their controlled interference with the expiratory air flow produces audible vibrations that make up speech, song, and other vocal noises.

W

weighted mean difference search for term

An estimate of an intervention effect pooled from a number of healthcare studies, generally using continuous data that has been standardized to enable pooling.

weighting search for term

Giving more value to the data from one study over another when pooling data to carry out a meta-analysis. This may be because the study has a greater number of participants, is more precise in the measure for intervention effect (the value has lower standard deviations), or that more healthcare events occurred.

X

Xerosis search for term

Dryness (of the skin)

xerostomia search for term

Subjective sensation of dryness of the mouth. It is usually the result of a decrease in the volume of saliva secreted

Z

zygomatic bone search for term

Either of a pair of bones that form the prominent part of the cheeks and contribute to the orbits (eye sockets).