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.


A new framework for allied health professionals aims to promote a culture of research

‘Shaping Better Practice Through Research: A Practitioner's Framework’ is the first framework designed to help Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) in all roles and at all career levels carry out research. The framework provides guidance on research activities, collaboration, how research relates to career development and how it informs practice. It could foster a stronger tradition ...


To improve team decision-making in cancer care: streamline workload, shorten meetings, address logistics and keep a gender balance on the team

For the past 20 years, the cornerstone of cancer care has been Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) who meet regularly to discuss the treatment and progress of people with cancer and plan the next steps. MDTs bring together a wide range of healthcare professionals, including surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, cancer nurse specialists and histopathologists (who examine samples of ...


New sub-groups of diabetes could lead to more targeted treatment for people in India

Type 2 diabetes is not a single disease. This was shown in 2018 when doctors in Scandinavia identified several sub-groups of type 2 diabetes in their population. Each sub-group has distinct characteristics and may respond to different treatments. Now, researchers have discovered different sub-groups among people in India. Their study included more than 19,000 people ...


Virtual quizzes involving several care homes are feasible and might reduce loneliness and social isolation

Simple low-cost video technology allowed residents in different care homes to enjoy taking part in virtual quizzes. Staff support was needed but new research found that the sessions were feasible and low-cost. This is the first study to trial connecting care homes virtually via quiz sessions. Interviews revealed that residents felt more connected with each ...


A combination of tests is needed to diagnose a dangerous type of meningitis in children

Meningitis caused by tuberculosis (TB) is rare in the UK, but it is a dangerous disease which can be fatal or leave people with disabilities. Children are particularly vulnerable to poor outcomes. TB is better known for causing lung disease, but the bacteria can also infect the brain, causing TB meningitis. The disease is often ...


Short term palliative care reduced costs without compromising quality for people with neurological conditions

People with long term neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis may have important needs that are not met within standard care. Palliative care considers the whole person, not just the illness, and aims to manage pain and other distressing symptoms while also providing psychological, social and spiritual support for ...


People with anaemia may not benefit from iron therapy ahead of major abdominal surgery, research finds

People with anaemia who were due to have major abdominal surgery did not see the expected benefits from receiving iron infusions in advance. A new study found that iron infusions did not reduce blood transfusions or deaths compared to a dummy treatment with salt water (placebo). There was no reduction in complications while people were ...


Strong patient-staff relationships are key to reducing conflict in high-security psychiatric hospitals

Aggression and conflict are common in high-security psychiatric hospitals. High-risk interventions – including restraint, seclusion and tranquilisers – are sometimes used to manage violence. De-escalation is an alternative approach which may help staff respond to aggression without using these restrictive interventions. It trains staff to recognise and understand the early signs of agitation and irritation. ...


Lonely young people have an increased risk of mental health problems years later: research suggests lockdown could have a long term effect

Loneliness and social isolation increase the long-term risk of depression and anxiety in children and teenagers, a recent review of research suggests. It included studies carried out before the current pandemic and found that negative impacts on mental health were evident up to nine years later. Children and teenagers rely on close friendships more than ...


Young offenders with undiagnosed language problems are twice as likely to reoffend within a year

Young people convicted of a criminal offence are much more likely to have another conviction within 12 months if they have an undiagnosed language problem. People with developmental language disorder (DLD) have difficulty expressing themselves verbally or understanding what is said to them. The disorder often starts in early childhood but persists into adulthood and ...

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