Table 1

Glossary of selected terms

TermMeaning in this paper
Decision-theoretical approach‘A decision-theory approach utilizes relevant knowledge, theory and data both from (sic) observational and experimental studies to evaluate the likely efficacy of an intervention. If from this process it can be demonstrated that an intervention is sufficiently unlikely to cause net harm, then we can move to estimate cost-effectiveness. That is, we assess if the benefit relative to its cost is sufficient for the intervention to be recommended for application to population groups under consideration. This contrasts with the hypothesis-testing approach in which decisions about the efficacy of an intervention are made solely by using the findings of scientific studies that use statistical testing to evaluate their efficacy. The hypothesis-testing approach is central to evidence-based medicine but in practice groups charged with reaching decisions about health interventions for populations also use additional evidence alongside scientific, methodological and philosophical judgements.’27
Natural experiment‘The term(…)lacks an exact definition, and many variants are found in the literature. The common thread in most definitions is that exposure to the event or intervention of interest has not been manipulated by the researcher.’18
‘Natural experiments are, by definition, events that occur outside the control of the researcher. They are not ‘conducted’ or ‘designed’; on the contrary, they are discovered.’22
Primordial prevention‘This term is advocated by some authors to describe elimination of risk factors(…)in contrast to primary prevention by reducing risks of exposure.’(S1)
Quasi-experiment‘A situation in which the investigator lacks full control over the allocation and/or timing of intervention but nonetheless conducts the study as if it were an experiment, allocating subjects to groups. Inability to allocate subjects randomly is a common situation that may be best described as a quasi-experiment.’(S1)
  • Citation S1 in this table refers to the online supplementary reference list.