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

Antiretroviral treatment can reduce the risk of HIV transmission between male partners to ‘zero’

The risk of transmission of HIV between gay couples when the HIV-positive partner is taking antiretroviral treatment that successfully suppresses the viral load is ‘effectively zero.’ A study of men from 14 European countries, including the UK, found no cases of transmission of HIV from an HIV-positive partner taking antiretroviral therapy to an HIV-negative partner, ...

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Telephone or internet delivered talking therapy can alleviate irritable bowel symptoms

People with irritable bowel syndrome may find cognitive behavioural therapy (a talking therapy) delivered via telephone or internet improves their symptoms. Compared with usual care alone, both interventions were shown to be more effective, with telephone delivery resulting in greater symptom reduction and web-based therapy being more cost-effective. Irritable bowel symptoms can persist long-term and ...

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New insights into how fatigue affects the lives of people on dialysis

Feelings of profound and relentless exhaustion while undergoing haemodialysis impact on patients’ ability to lead a normal life. This overwhelming fatigue is different from the immediate symptoms of post-dialysis fatigue observable in a clinical setting and can pervade all aspects of a patient’s life. This review of 65 international studies, including 1,713 participants, found that ...

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Antimicrobial central venous catheters do not reduce infections in pre-term babies

Central venous catheters (CVCs) impregnated with antimicrobial agents are no better than standard CVCs for avoiding bloodstream infection in pre-term babies. This NIHR-funded trial compared peripherally inserted CVCs that had been impregnated with a combination of the antifungal miconazole and the broad-spectrum antibiotic rifampicin, against standard non-antimicrobial-impregnated CVCs for preterm babies in intensive care. Rates ...

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More than 50% of hip replacements appear to last 25 years

Data from national registries and large case series show that in those countries, around 85% of total hip replacements last for 15 years, with 58% lasting for 25 years. This means that those hip replacements have lasted last longer than was first thought. It is good news for an ageing population, as it should mean that ...

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Providing pressurised air through a mask may improve outcomes for people with deteriorating heart failure

Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation may help people with rapidly deteriorating heart failure who become short of breath due to fluid build-up in the lungs. For people not requiring immediate mechanical ventilation using an endotracheal tube, this approach may reduce the risk of death in hospital and the need for intubation. This review evaluated 24 trials ...

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Steps to better understanding resistant behaviours and the culture of bedside dementia care in hospitals

High levels of resistance to care by people with dementia can be exacerbated by responses by staff on the wards. This study sought to understand the interactions and culture underlying care by closely observing and documenting what was actually happening on ten wards in five UK hospitals, and through interviews with carers and families. This ...

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Psychological therapies may improve parenting skills in parents of children with chronic illness

Psychological therapies appear to show promise in helping improve self-reported parenting behaviour of parents of children and adolescents with cancer, chronic pain, diabetes or traumatic brain injury. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and problem-solving therapy (PST) appear particularly valuable in supporting this. Psychological therapies also seemed beneficial in improving the mental health of parents who have ...

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Smartphones instead of direct supervision can improve adherence rates for TB treatment

People who need supervision take their medication for tuberculosis (TB) more reliably when using a smartphone to send video evidence instead of direct observations; for example, by attending a clinic appointment. Almost double the number of observations was completed in the video-supervised arm at six months than when people were directly observed. Ensuring the effectiveness of ...

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More than 80% of total knee replacements can last for 25 years

Large data sets from national registries and case series show that about 82% of total knee replacements and 70% of partial (unicompartmental) knee replacements last for 25 years. This NIHR-funded review of that data is the first to demonstrate longer-term effectiveness of these procedures. This means that the operation, which aims to relieve pain for ...

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