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Abbreviations and Glossary

This glossary provides definitions of many of the key terms used in this course.

Abbreviations and Glossary

Disability adjusted life-year (DALY) – a single metric of overall disease burden combining years of life lost (YLLs) due to mortality and years lived with disability (YLDs). One DALY can be thought of as 1 year of healthy life lost.

Evidence-based interventions – practices or programmes that have peer-reviewed, documented empirical evidence of effectiveness.

Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report – comprehensive effort to measure epidemiological levels and trends worldwide.

Horizon scanning – a technique for detecting early signs of potentially important developments through a systematic examination of potential threats and opportunities.

Inflammatory conditions – generic term used to cover a range of disorders that relate to inflamed joints, muscles, and tissues that connect or support organs and other internal body parts.

Life course (approach) – a perspective that views health as the product of risk behaviours, protective factors, and environmental agents encountered throughout our entire lives and that have cumulative, additive, and even multiplicative, impacts on specific outcomes.

Making Every Contact Count (MECC) – an approach to behaviour change that uses the day-to-day interactions that organisations and people have with other people to support them in making positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Multi-morbidity – a person living with 2 or more long-term chronic conditions. Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions – a broad range of health conditions affecting bones, joints and muscles, pain syndromes and rarer conditions of the immune system.

Multiple long-term health conditions (MLTCs) – long-term conditions, or chronic diseases, are conditions for which there is currently no cure, and which are managed with drugs and other treatment. The number of people living with several of these conditions is increasing in absolute terms.

Non-communicable disease (NCD) – diseases that tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors.

Primary prevention – activities designed to reduce the instances of an illness in a population and thus to reduce (as far as possible) the risk of new cases appearing, and to reduce their duration.

Productive Healthy Ageing – Public Health England’s programme to promote healthier lives amongst older people, to reduce inequalities, and to promote meaning, purpose, and a sense of belonging for people as they age.

Quality-adjusted life year (QALY) – a measure of the improvement in both life expectancy and quality of life achieved by an intervention. It is a measure that is used in to capture the benefit of interventions across all health conditions so that the interventions for different conditions can be compared. One QALY is equal to 1 year of life in perfect health.

Secondary prevention – activities aimed at detecting and treating pre-symptomatic disease.

Tertiary prevention – activities aimed at reducing the incidence or recurrences of chronic incapacity, and thus to reduce the functional consequences of an illness, including therapy, rehabilitation techniques or interventions designed to help the patient to return to educational, family, professional, social and cultural life.

Theory of change – explains how activities are understood to produce a series of results that contribute to achieving the final intended impacts.

Work days lost – the number of work days lost due to sickness for all people in employment aged over 16 years.

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Musculoskeletal Health: A Public Health Approach

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