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.


Mental health care during pregnancy and afterwards: women from some ethnic minority backgrounds face barriers to access

Women who have mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year after giving birth (the perinatal period) can face challenges in seeking professional help. New research found the problem is more pronounced for women from Black African, Asian and White Other backgrounds. They had poorer access to services in the community than White ...


People who have survived torture need joined-up care to address physical, psychological and social aspects of pain

More than one in four refugees and asylum-seekers in the UK are thought to have experienced torture in their countries of origin. Increasing numbers are presenting to NHS services with persistent pain, often of muscle, bone or joints (musculoskeletal). New research finds that UK healthcare services are not meeting their needs, and suggests that better ...


Digital games, apps and e-therapy show promise for helping children manage obesity, anxiety and other long-term conditions

Digital interventions such as games, apps and e-therapy may encourage primary school-aged children to exercise more or manage their anxiety, but research into the benefits of the technology for this age group is thin on the ground. Long-term conditions are becoming more common. Some can be improved by changes to behaviour, such as a better ...


Digital analysis of cells and tissue was as reliable as using a microscope in a new review

Diagnoses made using digital scans of cell and tissue samples are as reliable as looking at traditional slides through a microscope, a new review suggests. It provides the strongest evidence to date that digital techniques are a viable alternative to microscopy and could in future replace it. Small samples of body tissue (biopsies) are sometimes ...


Easy-read report: The risk of forced marriage for people with learning disabilities from South Asian communities

Easy-read report. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is an organisation that funds others to do Health and Care research. This report is about research that has been going since 2009 called, ‘My Marriage, My Choice’. This study has looked at people with learning disabilities who have ‘forced marriages’. What is this research about? ...


Risk of forced marriage among people with learning disabilities: carers provide insights into consent, care needs and the place of marriage in South Asian communities

Under UK law, some people with learning disabilities cannot legally marry. If someone is unable to understand the implications of marriage - or to develop the capacity to understand - they cannot consent to marry. By law, any marriage that goes ahead is considered ‘forced’. Most forced marriages in the UK take place within South ...


Acting on feedback from national clinical audits: NHS staff describe their motivations and the barriers to engaging with the data

A national clinical audit (NCA) in a specific condition gives a picture of the standard of care provided by NHS Trusts across the country. Hospitals can use NCA data to determine where their service is doing well compared to other Trusts, and where there could be improvements. The aim is to improve the quality of ...


Extending breast screening to women in their forties may save lives without increasing harms, research suggests

Around 7,600 women in their 40s are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK. But the NHS Breast Screening Programme only starts inviting women once they turn 50. Mammography (X-ray of the breasts) is offered to women every three years between the ages of 50 to 70. There is long-standing debate about the ...


Being overweight is linked with an increased risk of dementia in new research

People who carry excess weight in midlife have an increased risk of developing dementia, suggests new research from the long-running English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). This study included people aged over 50 and followed them for an average of 11 years. Overall, those who were obese at the start of the study had a ...


Hand strengthening and stretching for people with rheumatoid arthritis: online training helps therapists deliver an exercise programme

A programme of exercises for people with rheumatoid arthritis improves hand strength and function. The Strengthening and Stretching for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand (SARAH) programme is recommended by NICE following positive results in a large clinical trial. Therapists were initially trained face-to-face to deliver the SARAH programme. To speed up its routine use in ...

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