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.


Increased rates of organ damage are seen in people discharged from hospital after COVID-19

People discharged from hospital after being treated for COVID-19 have increased rates of organ damage, readmission and death, compared to the general population. New research suggests that COVID-19 might place a greater burden on healthcare systems than was previously thought. COVID-19 is known to affect the respiratory system. Increasing evidence suggests it also affects other ...


People carrying excess weight have an increased risk of severe COVID-19

Carrying excess weight increases the risk of becoming seriously unwell with COVID-19. New research found that excess weight increases the chance of admission to hospital or intensive care, or of dying. The under 40s and people of Black ethnicity were more affected by excess weight than others. Early in the pandemic, small studies suggested that ...


How can acute mental health wards be improved?

Service users, carers and nurses suggested ways of improving acute mental health wards. In a new study, they came up with a list of potential improvements, including less paperwork and more staff training. Service users suggested events in which they could interact with nurses through ordinary activities such as playing music or going for a ...


Many people with mental illness did not seek help during the first lockdown; research highlights unmet need

The number of people with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and self-harm increased during the UK’s first lockdown. But a huge study across England found that fewer people asked their GP or hospital for mental health support.  The research team looked at primary care records to find the numbers of people who sought ...


Mothers of children with life-limiting conditions are at risk of serious health problems

Mothers of children with life-limiting conditions have an increased risk of common health problems, including depression and heart disease. New research found that, compared with mothers of healthy children, they had higher rates of mental and physical conditions. They were also more likely to die.  The study found that these mothers were at increased risk ...


Easy-read report - Love and Relationships: the views of adults with learning disabilities

  The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is an organisation that funds others to do Health and Care research. In 2020, The NIHR funded some research done by the University of Kent. The researchers looked at adults with learning disabilities having romantic relationships. They asked people with a learning disability over the age of ...


Love and relationships: the views of adults with learning disabilities

Many adults with learning disabilities place a high value on romantic relationships. New research identified the support they need to form loving partnerships. It also described the barriers they face.  In the past, adults with learning disabilities were not thought to have the same emotional, psychological or social needs as other people. This made it ...


Care home staff saw long-term benefits from an intervention to help people with dementia

Long-term improvements in dementia care were found in a new study. Care home staff reported benefits from a programme called MARQUE (Managing Agitation and Raising Quality of life) two years after it was introduced. The MARQUE programme includes a range of techniques to help staff get to know residents' interests, address their agitation, and improve ...


Stressing the personal benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine could encourage more people to accept

Most people in the UK accept the COVID-19 vaccine when it is offered. But some are hesitant. New research has explored whether different versions of written information could change people's views. It found that, among those who were hesitant, stressing the personal benefits of the vaccine was more effective than stressing benefits to the community. ...


Statins do not commonly cause muscle pain and stiffness

Statins are a group of drugs which lower levels of fat (cholesterol) in the blood. They reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Despite this, many people prescribed statins stop taking them, sometimes through concerns about side effects. New research finds that statins do not commonly cause pain, stiffness and weakness in the muscles. ...

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