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List of terms

Throughout the DISCERN website, the following terms are used:

Treatment means a course of action adopted to deal with a health problem or illness. Treatments can be conventional (or orthodox) or complementary (or alternative), and can include self-care (or self-help, i.e. ways in which you can help yourself or make yourself feel better) and psychological or emotional treatments.

Treatment choices refers to the range of possible options for dealing with a health problem and includes both treatments (as listed above) and no treatment, i.e. not taking any direct action or using any form of treatment. No treatment options include postponing treatment, watchful waiting (monitoring how the condition progresses without treatment) and permanently forgoing treatment.

Outcomes are the short-term and long-term effects of a treatment choice, and include the benefits (or advantages) and risks (or disadvantages) of a treatment choice.

A publication is any written document that provides information about treatment choices specifically for health consumers. Publications can include printed materials such as books, leaflets, factsheets and newspaper and magazine articles, and online health information such as personal and professional web pages and items from news services and discussion groups.