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.


Laser surgery for an enlarged prostate is no more effective than standard surgery

Two procedures to treat men with enlarged prostates are both effective, new research has shown. A benign enlarged prostate is not cancer and is not usually a serious threat to health. But it is common in men over 50 and some need surgery to treat troublesome urinary symptoms caused by the growing prostate. The most ...


An innovative swallowable sponge detects Barrett's oesophagus in people with heartburn, study shows

Detection of a pre-cancerous throat condition called Barrett’s oesophagus can be improved with the use of an innovative swallowable sponge and laboratory test, a large multicentre trial found. Heartburn, caused by acid reflux from the stomach up into the gullet (oesophagus), is common among people visiting their GP. It is usually treated with acid suppressants. ...


Men who have sex with men are less likely to use drugs to prevent HIV if they are young, unemployed or have a low disposable income, research finds

The use of drugs to reduce the transmission of HIV has increased substantially in recent years. New research found that two in five men who have sex with men (MSM) attending sexual health clinics in London and Brighton had taken drugs as a precaution in case they encounter the virus. At the time of the ...


First-time mothers need clear and consistent information about the care they can expect after giving birth

The first six to eight weeks after giving birth is an important time in a woman’s transition into motherhood. But currently little is known about what pregnant women expect, or how well informed they feel in advance about the care they will receive during this postnatal period. The current national guidance in England covers the ...


Increased awareness of developmental disorders can reduce stigma, research in Ethiopia finds

Family and community support is vital to offset the damaging effects of stigma associated with autism, intellectual disability and other developmental disorders, a study in Ethiopia shows. Without such help, children with these disorders and their families are more likely to struggle, and to isolate themselves from society. Negative reactions to children with developmental disorders ...


Physiotherapist-led exercise eases shoulder pain but ultrasound guidance for injections makes no difference, study finds

A large trial of interventions for people with shoulder pain showed that they benefitted more from personalised exercise programmes supervised by physiotherapists than from an exercise leaflet and standard advice. It also showed that guiding shoulder injections using ultrasound provided no added benefit over the usual, non-guided approach to these injections. Pain associated with structures ...


Pregnancy loss leads to post-traumatic stress in one in three women

Almost one in three women develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after early pregnancy loss, a new study shows. For some, signs of PTSD, anxiety and depression are still evident nine months later. Early pregnancy losses are common, but the consequences and psychological impact are often overlooked. Current care varies, but most women receive no formal ...


A simple checklist reliably identified paranoia in adolescents with mental health problems, research shows

A new 18-item checklist provides the first reliable clinical tool for assessing paranoid thinking in young people. Research found the Bird Checklist of Adolescent Paranoia (B-CAP) gave precise estimates of the severity of paranoia. It was most reliable for moderate to severe levels. Paranoia is a neglected problem in young people. Before this research, there ...


Active monitoring in early prostate cancer prevents as many deaths as surgery or radiotherapy, new research shows

A long-running clinical trial of how best to treat men diagnosed with early prostate cancer found that active monitoring was as effective as surgery or radiotherapy in preserving life. Active monitoring, sometimes called 'watch and wait', means that men have regular tests, and only have surgery or radiotherapy if the cancer progresses. In the trial, ...


Mental health problems in complex trauma: the most promising therapies are identified in a new review

Complex trauma arises from events that happen repeatedly and are difficult to escape from, such as war, childhood abuse and violence. People may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Mental health services are ill-equipped to help them, due to a lack of clear evidence on the best therapies for ...

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