Evidence

Alerts

The latest important research summarised

Short summaries of the latest health research presented in plain English to promote use of research by all members of society.

Alert

GLP-1 drug for diabetes gives modest cardiovascular benefits compared with placebo

Taking a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1) agonist drug lowers the likelihood of having a stroke, heart attack or dying due to cardiovascular causes by 12%. The drugs give a similar 12% reduction in overall mortality. They do not increase the risk of heart failure, very low blood sugar levels or pancreatic disease. Diabetes causes one ...

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Uptake of shingles vaccination is more likely if proactively offered in primary care

The shingles vaccination programme is intended for people aged between 70 and 80 years, but uptake in this group has been low. This survey found that people were more likely to have had the vaccine if it was proactively offered by a GP or nurse. The survey was completed by 536 individuals born in 1934 ...

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Computerised speech and language therapy can help people with aphasia find words following a stroke

People with aphasia caused by a stroke show improvements in retrieving words when they use self-managed computerised speech and language therapy in addition to usual care from a speech and language therapist. No improvements are seen in patients’ conversational abilities or their quality of life. Aphasia is a complex language and communication disorder. It can affect people’s ...

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Fewer infections with antibiotic-impregnated shunts for hydrocephalus

Antibiotic-impregnated shunt catheters led to fewer infections than standard catheters in this study, although the overall rate of shunt revision remained about the same. In hydrocephalus, a shunt is a device consisting in part of a long catheter (a tube) that relieves the raised pressure of fluid in the ventricles of the brain. It is ...

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Impact of a national quality improvement programme for hospital wards is unclear

The Productive Ward quality improvement programme has shown some procedural changes on hospital wards in England in the 10 years since it was introduced. But evidence to show any sustained changes to the experiences of staff or patients is hard to find. This NIHR-funded study used quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate the programme in ...

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Two commonly used pressure redistributing mattresses are similar for preventing pressure ulcers but differ on price

The choice of mattress used in hospital makes no difference to whether adults develop pressure ulcers, or how quickly, but differ on price. This large NIHR-funded trial included 2,029 participants at high risk of developing pressure ulcers and found fewer pressure ulcers overall than expected (7.9%). Half of about 2,000 participants in this large NIHR-funded ...

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Online patient feedback is mostly positive — but is not being used effectively

People are increasingly reading online feedback from other patients to gauge service quality but fewer people go online to write feedback themselves. Health organisations and professionals are not currently effective at using this feedback to improve services. These findings come from an NIHR-funded study which used five research streams to provide an overview of online patient ...

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Group cognitive behavioural courses may reduce fatigue from rheumatoid arthritis

Fatigue can be one of the most difficult symptoms to cope with for people with rheumatoid arthritis and this study found that group cognitive behavioural courses may help. This NIHR-funded study compared six weekly group sessions plus a booster session with a single brief one-to-one meeting. Both groups also received an educational booklet. It took ...

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Working in groups with ongoing support is valued by people with severe obesity trying to lose weight

People with severe obesity, a BMI of 35kg/m² or more, value the support and motivation they get from weight management programmes that include group-based interventions. However, commissioners and service managers should consider how to maintain adequate support and motivation once programmes end. Although previous studies have assessed the impact of non-surgical weight management programmes for ...

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MRI and ultrasound scans are both helpful in assessing Crohn’s disease; MRI is slightly more accurate

Two types of scan, MRI and ultrasound, work well when used for staging and monitoring Crohn’s disease. MRI is more accurate. Researchers compared a form of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging that includes an oral contrast agent, with ultrasound scans. They aimed to see which was better able to detect the presence and extent of active ...

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