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The What is …? series is intended to demystify some of the terminology, techniques and practices used to assess clinical and economic evidence within healthcare. It contains a range of titles covering:

Health economics


Evidence-based medicine

The NHS and health technology assessment

The series aims to provide healthcare professionals at all levels with essential information to increase their understanding of these complex areas.

Each short article communicates key issues and concepts in a concise and attractive format, with suggestions for further reading provided should a more in-depth understanding be required. The incorporation of both theory and application in each of the titles is intended to help readers underpin their understanding with the clarification that the applications provide. All the titles in the series have been written by highly respected figures from a variety of NHS backgrounds.

Revised in 2009 to reflect the latest thinking and cover topical new areas, the What is ...? series now includes 23 titles.

Click on a title below to view a summary of its contents, and then follow the links to the right to purchase either a printed copy or a PDF.

What is health economics?
What is cost-effectiveness?
What is cost-utility analysis?
What is cost-minimisation analysis?
What are health utilities?
What is quality of life?
What is a QALY?
What is sensitivity analysis?
What is a Cox model?
What are confidence intervals and p-values?
What are hazard ratios?
What is indirect comparison?
What is Bayesian statistics?
What is an NNT?
What is evidence-based medicine?
What is a systematic review?
What is meta-analysis?
What is critical appraisal?
What is health technology assessment?
What are the HTA processes in the UK?
What is Payment by Results?
Implementing NICE guidance
What is world class commissioning?

To request further information about the series, or for any other queries, please click here.

To purchase printed or PDF copies, please click here.


Supported by sanofi-aventis

The data, opinions and statements appearing in the articles herein are those of the contributor(s) concerned; they are not necessarily endorsed by the sponsors, publisher, Editor or Editorial Board. Accordingly the sponsors, publisher, Editor and Editorial Board and their respective employees, officers and agents accept no liability for the consequences of any such inaccurate or misleading data, opinion or statement. Copyright 2009 Hayward Group Ltd. The title What is... ? is the property of Hayward Group Ltd and, together with the content, is bound by copyright. The information contained on the site may not be reproduced, distributed or published, in whole or in part, in any form without the permission of the publishers. All correspondence should be addressed to: