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 third of health practitioners do not get vaccinated against flu

Flu vaccination uptake amongst healthcare workers in England is below the NHS target of 75%. Reasons may include mixed views on the vaccine’s effectiveness, side effects and belief they are unlikely to catch or transmit flu. Surprisingly, practical barriers such as time and access to vaccination were not mentioned in this systematic review of qualitative ...

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Self-care support for children with long-term conditions may reduce emergency costs

Helping children and parents to manage long-term conditions like asthma may reduce their need for emergency care, and is unlikely to reduce children’s quality of life. This NIHR review found that structured professional help with self-care, including online support, provision of care plans, case management and face-to-face education, was linked to small increases in quality ...

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Hospital admission rates and costs increase in line with BMI

Each 2kg/m2 rise in body mass index (BMI) above the normal-weight threshold in women aged 55-79 leads to a 5% rise in annual hospital admissions and 7% rise in healthcare costs. In England, £662 million of the annual hospital admission costs in 2013 could be attributed to overweight or obesity in women of this age ...

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Person-centred care improves quality of life for care home residents with dementia

A person-centred care intervention for people with dementia living in care homes improved their quality of life, reduced agitation and improved interactions with staff. It may also save costs compared with usual care. The WHELD intervention involves training staff in person-centred care, with a focus on improving social interactions and appropriate use of antipsychotic medications. ...

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Enriched food and snacks can increase nutritional intake in older people in hospital

Enriching hospital food with energy or protein may improve nutrition in older people in hospital. Studies assessed in a systematic review showed consistent effects of enriched or fortified foods compared with usual nutrition. The extent of increased consumption varied depending on the amount and type of foods added. Malnutrition is common in older people in ...

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Multi-morbidity predicted to increase in the UK over the next 20 years

Two-thirds of adults aged over 65 are expected to be living with multiple health conditions (multi-morbidity) by 2035. Seventeen percent would be living with four or more diseases, double the number in 2015. One-third of these people would have a mental illness like dementia or depression. Increased life expectancy by around three years for both ...

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Statins are of no benefit in acute respiratory distress syndrome

Giving statins to patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome made no difference to the number of days they spent on a ventilator. It also had no effect on mortality or the length of time spent in intensive care or in hospital compared with placebo. In acute respiratory distress syndrome, the lungs become severely inflamed, fill ...

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Pulmonary rehabilitation improves exercise tolerance in pulmonary fibrosis

People with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis who received pulmonary rehabilitation could walk 44 metres further in six minutes than those who did no exercise. Quality of life also improved. Pulmonary fibrosis is a rare condition where scar tissue builds up in the lungs making them stiff and causing breathing difficulty. The term idiopathic means there is ...

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Imaging is the only way to diagnose blood clots in pregnancy

No blood test can accurately tell if a pregnant or recently pregnant woman has a blood clot. All pregnant women with a suspected clot should continue to have imaging investigations as per current UK guidelines. This NIHR-funded study recruited 328 pregnant or postpartum women with a suspected blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism) or ...

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Hypertonic saline as effective as normal saline for trauma patients

Solutions more concentrated than normal, such as hypertonic saline, are as good as those more usually given to trauma patients with severe blood loss. Survival to hospital discharge was the same in patients treated before arrival at the hospital with either type of fluid. There are around 20,000 cases of major trauma per year in ...

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