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Advocacy A combination of individual and social actions designed to gain political commitment, policy support, social acceptance and systems support for a particular health goal or program.*

Behavioural epidemiology The study of the distribution (how much of a problem in the population) and determinants of (causal factors that lead to) behaviours that are related to health.

Bias Where something differs systematically from the true situation. Biases found in studies may be due to how people are selected, how they choose to volunteer for a program (selection bias; see Box 5.1) or how they are assessed or measured (measurement or information bias; see Box 5.2).

Causality Scientific evidence that the intervention or program ‘caused’ any changes observed in outcomes.

Cluster randomised control trial A randomised controlled trial (RCT) where randomisation occurs at the level of groups or communities (see Experimental (controlled trial) designs). See also randomised controlled trial (RCT).

Cohort An identified group or population. In a cohort study, the same population is followed and assessed at each stage in the study, both before and after an intervention. Cohorts are sometimes used in quasi-experimental design studies.

Comprehensive program evaluation (CPE) The process of designing and conducting evaluations of complex (public health) programs. These are multi-component interventions targeting multi-faceted problems in whole populations or community settings and using a diverse range of strategies to influence any or all of individuals, settings, professionals or policymakers.

Confidence interval (or confidence limits) Statistical terms that describe whether the observed result in a study is outside of a range of possible results within which the true value in the population is likely to lie.

Consultation The process of engaging with or seeking the views of stakeholders, the community or target group members, with a view to enabling participation and co-creation in intervention development, advocacy or policy formulation. See also participatory planning.

Contamination The amount to which control or comparison groups or communities might be exposed to intervention elements.

Content validity See validity.

Correlate(s) Factors that are statistically associated with other variables. Correlation does not imply causality.

Cross-sectional study A survey, or other form of data collection, that is obtained at a single point in time from a population or population sample. Unlike a cohort study, these individuals are not followed and assessed on a further occasion.

Dissemination An active and intentional process of scaling-up an intervention to maximise uptake and impact in a community.

Drop out or loss to follow up The proportion of participants who start a program or are included in a study, and do not participate in follow-up activities or surveys—they are ‘lost to follow up’. This may lead ...

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