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

A commonly-used antidepressant doesn’t improve recovery after stroke

The antidepressant fluoxetine works no better than placebo to reduce disability after a stroke, lowering hopes that had been raised by other smaller studies. After a six month trial including more than 3,000 adult stroke patients recruited at 103 UK hospitals, researchers concluded that fluoxetine should not be used to promote recovery from stroke-related disability, ...

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No additional weight-loss reported from a lifestyle programme for people with psychosis

For adults with psychosis, such as schizophrenia, who are taking antipsychotic medication, a carefully designed 12-month group diet and exercise programme did not lead to clinically important weight loss after 12 months. The programme was compared with those receiving usual care including written lifestyle advice. Intervention and usual care groups each lost half a kilo ...

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Decontamination of the mouth or digestive tract was not linked to reductions in drug-resistant bloodstream infections in the intensive care unit

Decontamination strategies to remove potentially harmful bacteria from the mouth, throat and gut of critically ill patients don’t reduce the risk of intensive care unit-acquired bloodstream infections or deaths from bacteria that were resistant to antibiotics. The study was carried out in 13 intensive care units across Europe, including the UK, with moderate to high ...

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Training for clinical competence and resilience reduced job strain among intensive care nurses in France

A five-day educational course showed potential to reduce work-based stress and burnout among nurses working in intensive care units in France. The study conducted in multiple adult intensive care units aimed to identify the effects of an intensive, continuing medical education program on occupational stress. The course focussed on nursing theory, role-play and debriefing sessions. ...

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A reflective group activity supports healthcare staff in England

Regular participation in structured organisation-wide forums, known as Schwartz Center Rounds®, helps support healthcare staff. The forums are linked with increased empathy and compassion for colleagues and patients, and they facilitate practice change. Levels of poor psychological well-being decrease in forum attendees compared with non-attendees. Originating in the US, these forums provide the opportunity for ...

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NHS managers need support to use tools to ensure safe nurse staffing levels

Workforce planning technologies can help NHS managers plan for safe nurse staffing levels, but only with proper support and tools that are designed with good understanding of local needs. Tools also need to give easy access to standardised information such as staff availability and costs. NHS Trusts need to be open to information sharing and ...

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Reconfiguring neonatal services balances survival chances against increased travel for families

Centralising services so that all babies are delivered in high-volume neonatal units could more than halve the number of units from 161 to 72, meaning that more parents would need to travel above 30 minutes. However, ensuring that all very preterm and low birthweight babies are cared for in high-volume neonatal intensive care units would reduce ...

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Early cooling provides no benefit following traumatic brain injury

Deliberate cooling (prophylactic hypothermia) in the early management of traumatic brain injury does not improve neurological outcomes at six months. Inducing hypothermia may also increase the risk of pneumonia. Hypothermia (33-35oC) is sometimes induced to try and limit brain damage in people with severe head injuries. However, evidence for its safety and effectiveness has been ...

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Warfarin and newer anticoagulants equally effective for long-term treatment of blood clots

Warfarin and newer anticoagulants work equally well to prevent blood clots in extended treatment after venous thromboembolism. One clot is prevented for every 15 people receiving either anticoagulant. Aspirin is ineffective. Following venous thromboembolism – a blood clot in the deep leg veins (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism) – anticoagulant treatment is given ...

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A care package to increase awareness of fetal movements does not reduce risk of stillbirth

A care package to increase awareness of fetal movements, and allow identification and delivery of high-risk babies, did not reduce the risk of stillbirth. The incidence of stillbirth varies across high-income countries suggesting that many could be preventable. The AFFIRM trial is the largest to date to assess whether interventions that increase awareness of fetal ...

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