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.


Aspirin could reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in people with pneumonia, research suggests

People with pneumonia are at high risk of having a heart attack or stroke. New research suggests that taking aspirin may reduce the risk of these cardiovascular events. Pneumonia is swelling (inflammation) of the tissue in one or both lungs. It is usually caused by bacterial infection but can also be caused by viruses, including ...


Older people move safely from hospital to home when staff communicate widely and bridge gaps in the system

The transition period from preparing to leave the hospital (being discharged) to the first few weeks at home can be risky, particularly for older patients. Most research on hospital discharge has looked at when things turn out badly: a patient has to go back to hospital or has their safety compromised. The authors of this ...


Plaster cast is as good as surgery for a broken scaphoid bone in the wrist, SWIFFT trial finds

Fractures of the scaphoid bone in the wrist are among the most common broken bone injuries. Traditionally, they have been healed by immobilising the wrist in a plaster cast but over the last two decades, surgeons have increasingly fixed the injury in surgery, by putting a small screw across the break. However, before this study, ...


Lockdown raised anxiety in people with anorexia and their carers, but online resources helped

The lockdowns and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted eating disorder services. People with anorexia nervosa experienced a loss of routine, heightened anxieties, and increased symptoms. Carers felt more concern and greater responsibility for their loved ones. Despite these difficulties, some patients and carers benefitted from digital self-management resources. The TRIANGLE project aims to help ...


People who fund their own social care receive little help to navigate the system

People in England who pay for their own social care receive little assistance in making choices, even though arranging care requires a range of skills that they may not have. Adult social care – for example personal assistance in the home or being cared for in a residential home – comes under the remit of ...


Informal dementia carers had to make difficult decisions about paid care during COVID-19

People living with dementia in the community typically rely on unpaid care from friends and family members, combined with some paid care. This helps them remain in their own homes. Researchers wanted to find out how the first nationwide COVID-19 lockdown affected unpaid carers, and how they made decisions about accessing paid care. Paid carers ...


Spironolactone is not an effective treatment for one type of irregular heartbeat, research shows

People with one type of irregular heartbeat (called atrial fibrillation) do not benefit from a drug called spironolactone. A new trial called IMPRESS-AF found that the drug does not offer benefits and could even be harmful. Spironolactone offered no improvements in exercise capacity, heart function, or quality of life. In fact, the treatment significantly worsened ...


Men with urethral narrowing can be offered a choice of effective surgery

Urethral narrowing reduces the flow of urine from the bladder out of the body. The tube (called the urethra) may become narrowed because of injury or infection. Painful and potentially dangerous narrowing is more common in men and if it happens repeatedly, it is treated with surgery. Initial treatment is usually a minimally invasive procedure ...


The long term severity of psychosis could be predicted by an early test of coordination and balance

Detecting problems with motor coordination could be a simple way to predict the long-term severity of psychosis. The Neurological Evaluation Scale (NES) is a quick and useful tool for examining sensory-motor issues such as restlessness, tremors, and problems with coordination and balance. A new study used the scale to assess patients after their first psychotic episode. ...


Theatre can bring research findings to life for a wide range of audiences

Traditional academic methods of communicating research findings often fail to reach key audiences including patients, or professionals from different disciplines. BRIGHTLIGHT is a national research project looking at whether specialist cancer services for teenagers and young people add value. The researchers wanted young people to know about their results, along with audiences often not reached ...

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