Evidence

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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.

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What support do young people with sickle cell disease need when moving into adult services?

Young people with sickle cell disease may experience poor care in non-specialist settings when they transition from paediatric to adult health services. New research from This Sickle Cell Life project studied their experiences on general hospital wards and during unplanned visits to A&E departments. The research found that young people would have better experiences of ...

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People with painful rheumatic conditions are at increased risk of self-harm

People with painful rheumatic conditions such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis are at increased risk of self-harm. New research found the risk was highest for those with fibromyalgia, who were twice as likely to harm themselves as people without the condition.  Rheumatic conditions are characterised by pain in joints, muscles and/or connective tissue. People ...

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Public involvement: long-term partnerships with children and young people can improve research design

Patients and the public can provide researchers with fresh insights or recommendations based on lived experience. But it is sometimes challenging to involve public contributors meaningfully, especially when they are young. Researchers in the MAGIC study worked with a group of young people (a Young Persons Advisory Group, YPAG). They wanted to test a method ...

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GPs may help people at risk of self-harm by asking open questions, acknowledging distress, and exploring positive reasons for staying alive

Simple changes to the way doctors ask questions about self-harm and suicidal thoughts could improve conversations with vulnerable patients and enable access to help and support.  A new study found that doctors tend to ask closed questions and, in some instances, inadvertently reinforce the stigma associated with suicide. These approaches made it difficult for patients ...

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Low rates of self-harm do not mean low levels of distress in a disadvantaged London community

Some highly deprived areas of London have unexpectedly low rates of self-harm. New research explored why hospital data implies that self-harm is less common than expected. The study was carried out in an ethnically diverse community exposed to multiple long-term stressors such as insecure employment, poor quality housing, and high levels of crime. The study ...

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Drinks labels with pictures and guidelines could improve public understanding of Government recommendations

Enhanced labels for alcoholic drinks include pictures to demonstrate their strength, plus an explicit statement of drinking guidelines. New research found that these labels could improve public awareness and understanding of the Government’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines. Government guidelines recommend a weekly maximum of 14 units of alcohol. However, public awareness of the guidelines is ...

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Misconceptions about acne lead to underuse of effective treatments; people need reliable information to manage the condition long-term

People with acne often blame themselves for their condition, wrongly thinking it is caused by their diet or skin care routine. Those who come forward for medical help often have unrealistic expectations and expect an immediate cure. New research demonstrates that such misunderstandings are a barrier to effective management of the condition.  Previous research has ...

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Breast cancer screening: women with poor mental health are less likely to attend appointments

Women with poor mental health are less likely than others to come forward for breast screening, new research has found. Not attending cancer screening could partly explain why people with mental health conditions die younger than the general population. It means that cancer is more likely to be diagnosed later when it is less treatable.   ...

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Gabapentin does not reduce long-term pelvic pain, and has unpleasant side effects, research finds

Gabapentin should not be used to treat women with long-term (chronic) pelvic pain. New research found that the drug does not reduce pain, nor does it improve women’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Compared to a dummy pill (placebo), gabapentin was also linked to serious side effects. More than one million women in the UK have ...

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Pelvic floor muscle training can be delivered by appropriately trained non-specialists for women with prolapse, research finds

Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT) is an effective treatment for women with pelvic organ prolapse. However, there are not enough specialist clinicians to deliver it which means access to this treatment is limited. New research finds that other healthcare staff can be successfully trained and supported to deliver PFMT. This could help meet demand for ...

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