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.


Care home residents on multiple medications have an increased risk of falling

Falls among residents in UK care homes are commonplace. A new study examined whether multiple medications and drugs that act on the brain may contribute to the risk. The research, which included 84 UK care homes, found that residents taking multiple medicines had an increased risk of falling. Risk was also increased with a regular ...


Missed life opportunities for young adult carers cost the UK £1bn every year

Young adult carers are more likely to be unemployed, to have lower earnings from paid work, and to have worse physical and mental health than other young people. A major study found that these negative effects on young carers aged 16-25 years, also cost the UK economy one billion pounds every year. The study is ...


Managing medication: older people and their families need support to deal with the hidden burden of medication

Being prescribed many medicines places a huge, often hidden, burden on older people in the community and on their families or carers. This affects whether older people take medicines incorrectly or not at all, which puts them at risk of harm and wastes medicine. The MEMORABLE (Medication Management in Older people: Realist Approaches Based on ...


The Vanguard programme to integrate health and social care achieved some of its aims but took time to show an effect

An NHS England programme to integrate health and social care services slowed the rise in emergency admissions to hospital among care home residents but did not achieve its other aims. It was hoped that integrating health and social care would ease the growing pressure upon services and reduce the time people spend in hospital. For ...


People with thyroid cancer who are asked to follow a low iodine diet need clear information

People with thyroid cancer who were asked to adjust their diet ahead of treatment, were confused about what they needed to do. The first UK study of these patients’ experiences found that many restricted their diet more and for longer than is advised. Some reported conflict or distress associated with the diet and were anxious ...


Teenagers' use of antidepressants is rising with variations across regions and ethnic groups

The number of 12-to-17 year olds prescribed antidepressants in England more than doubled between 2005 and 2017. This is one of the striking changes seen in a new study into the use of antidepressants by children and young people. It also found that antidepressant prescriptions for 5-to-11 year olds decreased between 1999 and 2017. Antidepressants ...


Women with cancer of the stomach or oesophagus are more likely to survive than men, but they have worse side effects from chemotherapy

Women treated for cancer of the stomach or oesophagus (the muscular tube which moves food from mouth to stomach) may survive longer than men. An analysis of over 3000 patients with these cancers also found that women experienced more nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea during therapy. Cancer-related survival was the same for older (70 or over) ...


First-line chemotherapy for ovarian cancer given once every three weeks may preserve quality of life

Women with a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer receiving weekly chemotherapy may have reduced quality of life compared to those receiving treatment every three weeks because the more frequent treatment may cause long-lasting nerve damage. Ovarian cancer is usually treated every three weeks with chemotherapy containing the medicines carboplatin and paclitaxel. A study in Japan ...


Missed miscarriage should be treated with mifepristone plus misoprostol rather than misoprostol alone

A combination of two drugs – mifepristone and misoprostol – was more effective than mifepristone alone for treating missed miscarriage. A large, multi-centre trial found that women given the combination were more likely to have completed their miscarriage within a week, and less likely to need follow-up surgery. During a miscarriage of pregnancy, the baby ...


Ongoing pain after knee replacement: people need support and encouragement to seek help

People with ongoing pain after knee replacement surgery may experience a sense of futility and believe nothing more can be done. A new study found that that one in five people report ongoing pain after knee replacement surgery, but many do not seek help in dealing with their pain. The researchers say that improvements in ...

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