ADL Stands for ‘activities of daily living’ and refers to the ability of a person to complete the most fundamental personal care tasks for oneself such as dressing, eating, using the toilet, bathing/showering, getting in and out of a chair or bed, or walking short distances inside the home. Health professionals often use a person’s ability or inability to perform ADLs as a measurement of their functional status. 
Adult social care The care and support with practical tasks given to adults with physical or mental disability or illness, or frailty.
Annual return A yearly report of an organisation’s activities or expenditures
Birth cohort A study which follows a group of individuals who were all born within a specified timeframe.
Census An official government-led study of an entire population. Often individuals are legally required to take part or to submit data.
Child social care The support provided to children who must be placed in residential or foster care, be protected from harm, or who suffer from severe mental or physical disabilities.
Cohort study A study that follows participants over a significant period of time to collect data on topics of interest.
Data item A single item or category of information. The smallest unit of information that a measure can be subdivided into.
Dataset A collection of related information about a group of individuals or services.
Formal care Care and support services provided by a social care organisation or an independent provider of social care services.
Harmonisation  Efforts to combine data sources so that they can be compared. This could involve wording questions in the same way between studies.
Household panel study A study which recruits households, follows each household over time and collects information about household members at regular time intervals.
IADL Stands for ‘instrumental activities of daily living’ and contrasts with ADLs as these measures show the ability of an individual to live independently rather than carry out the most fundamental tasks of living. IADL activities include shopping, housework, preparing meals, managing finances, communicating via telephone and mail and  managing medications.
Informant The individual who answers questions in a survey or supplies the data in a data return.
Instrument Set of related questions combined to measure a particular outcome.
Local authority The administrating body of the local government of a local area. Local authorities have a staturtory duty to assess for social care needs, and provide social care to those eligible, within their local population. They also provide advice and ‘sign-posting’ to non-statutory services for those not eligible for state funded social care.
Longitudinal study A study which gathers data at the start of the study and at one or more future time points on the same group of individuals.
Measure A technical term used to describe a question asked to a participant during a survey or an item of information requested from a manager when they fill out a data return. For example, ‘Who do you live with?’ is a measure and the possible responses might be, mother, father, brother, sister etc.
Multiple rater A question pertaining to an individual or household for which responses are obtained from more than one individual. For example a survey question asked to both an individual and their carer.
Need For this catalogue, measures classified as ‘need’ are data items which demonstrate the met or unmet requirement of a participant for social care. For example measures which show that the respondent has an inability, or potential inability, to complete activities of daily living (ADLs) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are typically used to determine social care need.
Nursing home Nursing homes provide 24-hour residential care but also administer medical treatments by qualified nurses to individuals who have conditions requiring regular medical intervention.
Paid carer Individuals who provide social care services and are paid for this activity.
Provision For this catalogue, a measure classified under ‘provision’ includes data items which demonstrate that a participant or data manager was involved in providing paid or unpaid social care to an individual.
Question/Data item This category is used in our list of measures to give exact wording of the question that was asked to individuals during a survey or to give a definition of the data item that was requested of data managers in a data return.
Receipt  For this catalogue, measures classified under ‘receipt’ are data items which show, in their response, clear evidence of the use of social care services (both formal and unpaid) or that collect comments on users’ experience of service care services.
Repeated cross-sectional study In this type of survey, a group of individuals are recruited from a population at regular time intervals. However, at each time point, a new group of individuals is recruited.
Reporting term For this catalogue, the reporting term gives the time period the measure concerns. For example, the past week, the past month or the past year.
Residential home Residential homes provide 24-hour care for individuals living in the home, but do not provide medical treatments from qualified nurses.
Response scale A list of possible responses individuals can give to each question or data item.
Self-funder Someone who pays for their own social care services.
Social care Care and support with practical tasks given to individuals with physical or mental disability or illness, or frailty.
Standard instrument A standard, fixed set of questions used to assess a particular characteristic. For example a standard set of questions used to assesses cognitive function in elderly individuals.
Survey A series of questions or data items used to gather information about a group of individuals.
Sweep One round of data collection within a study which follows, and collects data from, a group of individuals at regular intervals over time. For example an annual survey might have a 2019 sweep and later a 2020 sweep where each year, different, or the same, questions are asked to a group of individuals.
Unpaid care (also sometimes referred to as ‘informal care’) Care provided by the social contacts of a person with social care needs such as family members, neighbours or friends.
Unpaid carer A family member or friend who provides care and support to an individual with social care needs. Typically, unpaid carers do not get paid for their caring activities (some may receive money from their family or a friend if the latter receives a Direct Payment).

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