DACHA Glossary

The following are the most used abbreviations and acronyms in the DACHA project.


  • Applied Research Collaboration (ARC): National Institute for Health Research’s Applied Research Collaborations (ARC – formerly known as CLAHRC) support applied health and care research that responds to the needs of local populations and local health and care systems in England.  The 15 regional NIHR ARCs act as local partnerships between NHS providers, universities, charities, local authorities, Academic Health Science Networks and other organisations.


  • Barthel Index: a scale used to measure the extent to which somebody can function independently and has mobility in their activities of daily living i.e. feeding, bathing, grooming, dressing, bowel control, bladder control, toileting, chair transfer, ambulation and stair climbing. The index also indicates the need for assistance in care. Points are based on abilities with a higher number meaning a better functioning.


  • Care Quality Commission (CQC): CQC is a public body of the Department of Health and Social Care. It was established in 2009 to regulate and inspect health and social care services in England.
  • Clinical commissioning group (CCG): Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of most of the hospital and community NHS services in the local areas for which they are responsible.
  • Commissioning: Commissioning is the continuous process of designing, delivering, and monitoring of policy or services. Social care commissioning is undertaken by local authorities. The NHS services in England are commissioned by clinical commissioning groups and NHS England on a local, regional and national basis.


  • Individual Participant/Patient Data (IPD): IPD refers to the data recorded for each participant or patient in a research study.
  • Integrated Care System (ICS): ICS is a way of organising the delivery of health and social care services. ICSs bring together NHS, local authority, and other care-related data to create alliances between organisations for collective responsibility of resources and local health and social care services.
  • interRAI: International Resident Assessment Instrument (interRAI) is a set of clinical assessment instruments. The interRAI assessment has been developed by an international collaborative network of researchers. It aims to improve care using evidence-based decision support.
  • Intervention: An intervention is a combination of strategies designed to improve health status among a group of individuals or an entire population.


  • Local Authority (LA): Local authorities are responsible for a range of essential services for people in defined areas. Local authorities commission services to assess the needs of its local population for care and support services. They design, deliver, monitor and evaluate services to ensure appropriate outcomes.


  • Minimum Data Set (MDS): In the DACHA project, Minimum Data Set is defined as a comprehensive and standardised account of the characteristics and needs and ongoing care of residents living in long-term care (care home) settings.


  • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): NIHR is a government agency that is the UK’s largest funder of health and care research. It is primarily funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. The DACHA study is funded by the NIHR.


  • Outcome measure: An outcome measure is a measurement/observation tool that measures the impact of a service or an intervention on the health status of participants.


  • Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) / Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE): PPI refers to an active partnership between members of the public and researchers. This means that members of the public (potential patients, carers, family members, etc.) work alongside the research team and are actively involved in contributing to the research process, for example as advisers and as co-researchers.
  • Primary data: Primary data is the type of data that is collected directly from main sources which requires the direct involvement of researchers in collecting data, such as through interviews or experiments.
  • Process evaluation: Process evaluations are usually conducted simultaneously with outcome evaluations such as randomised controlled trials (RCT). They examine the processes through which an intervention works, such as the relationship between the care home staff and the tools and technologies used in the care home.


  • RAMESES (Realist And Meta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards): is a set of guidelines for training on and publication of realist reviews. RAMESES guides the authors to create qualitative reviews that expand the knowledge in policy, by explaining the success, failure or other characteristics of interventions. More information on RAMESES can be found at www.ramesesproject.org
  • Randomised controlled trial (RCT): An RCT is a type of scientific (often medical) experiment that is viewed as the best way to test the effectiveness of new treatments. In RCTs, subjects are randomly allocated to two or more groups, each group treated differently, and then are compared them with reference to an outcome measure. The experimental group receives the intervention, while the control group receives an alternative, such as no intervention or a placebo.
  • Realist review: A realist review is the type of review that uses a realist approach, through which the researchers identify the underlying causal mechanisms/techniques/procedures and explore how these mechanisms work under what conditions, and benefit or disadvantage whom.


  • Secondary data: Secondary data is the data that was previously collected through primary data collection and has been made available to be used in other research studies. Its availability depends on the primary researcher’s decision to share the primary data that they have collected.
  • Study Steering Committee (SSC): A study steering committee is an advisory panel of senior stakeholders or experts who provide guidance on the issues that research projects face, such as budgeting, project management concerns, new bids, etc. The committee ensures that the project aligns with its initial objectives, monitors progress throughout the project, and approves changes related to scope and budgets.
  • Systematic review: Systematic review is a type of review that uses reproducible analytical methods to identify, select and evaluate relevant research, and to analyse and categorise these secondary data.


  • Virtual Trials Archive (VTA): The Virtual Trials Archive is a data repository that collates data from completed clinical trials in order to provide access to anonymised data for secondary data analyses in future research projects. VTA hosts three main databases in: stroke (VISTA); cardiovascular and cognition (VICCTA); renal and transplant (VIRTTA). With the DACHA project, a fourth database (care home trials archive – VICHTA) will be created in the Virtual Trials Archive

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