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Jargon Buster

Research terminology can be confusing if you are not used to it. If there is anything you don’t understand, please ask your nurse or doctor, but here are some common words and acronyms you may come across and what they mean.

Informed Consent – The process in which a patient voluntarily confirms they are willing to participate in a study after receiving and considering full information about what this involves.

Eligibility – Whether a patient meets the specific criteria or characteristics to take part in a study.

Randomisation – To be allocated, by chance, to any of the treatment options within the study.

Enrolment – The act of admitting a participant into a study after eligibility has been confirmed and the patient has given valid informed consent.

Treatment Arms – Any of the treatment options within a clinical trial.

RCT – A randomised controlled trial is where two or more interventions are compared to a control or no intervention. Patients will be randomised to receive one.

Placebo – A control or “dummy” substance used to test for the placebo effect and whether the treatment is really working.

Placebo Effect – When a patient feels better even though they are taking a placebo.

Blinded Study – A study in which the patient does not know which of the treatment options they are receiving.

Double Blinded Study-  A study in which both the patient and the researcher do not know which of the treatment options the patient is receiving.

Open Label – The opposite of blinded – both the patient and the researcher know which treatment the patient is receiving.

Follow-Up– Periodic contact with participants enrolled on a study to collect further data, or give further treatments. These could be telephone calls or clinic visits.

IMP-An Investigational Medicinal Product is the active or placebo medication given as part of a trial.

Pharmacokinetics – The effect the body has on a drug; people process drugs in different ways and blood samples may be taken to measure this.

Post-Marketing Study -A study collecting long term safety data on a new medication after it has been released on the market