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.


How to improve information for people with osteoporosis

Much information about the bone condition, osteoporosis, is too difficult to understand. It is also sometimes misleading. New research makes recommendations for improvements. The aim is for people with the condition to have high quality, more readable information.  People with osteoporosis have weakened bones that become more likely to break. Many know little about their ...


Diabetes checks: delays in treatment are reduced when support staff assess eye images

People living with diabetes need regular eye examinations to prevent serious problems with their vision. A shortage of eye specialists (ophthalmologists) is leading to delays in appointments. New research suggests that support staff could be trained to read images of the back of the eye (retina) almost as well as ophthalmologists.  Most of the support ...


Advice by mail is as effective as targeted interventions at preventing fall-related injuries in older people

A booklet containing advice on falls prevention reduced fractures as effectively as more intensive interventions. In a large study, the booklet was sent to older people by post. This advice alone prevented as many fractures as an exercise programme, or as multiple assessments by a range of professionals, the study found.   Falls and fall-related injuries, ...


Why don’t teenagers seek help for anxiety and depression?

Shame, stigma, and a lack of knowledge about mental health problems, are some of the barriers that prevent young people from seeking professional help for anxiety and depression. New research has identified many of these barriers.  Some, such as a lack of trust in professionals, or limited support from their families, could also affect other ...


Carers of people with dementia benefit from online help for anxiety and depression

Online education can improve the mental health of people caring for those with dementia. A new study recommends that online education packages should be widely available for carers with anxiety or depression. Online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) combined with telephone support was equally effective, but used more resources. Many of those who care for people ...


Biofeedback offers no additional benefit to pelvic floor muscle training

Women whose pelvic floor has become weakened, for example through pregnancy and childbirth, benefit from pelvic floor muscle training. Specific exercises can strengthen muscles and improve bladder control. Women are sometimes offered a biofeedback device which allows them to see their muscles working as they exercise. But new research found that the device offered no ...


People with cognitive impairment are missing out on sight and dental checks

People with memory loss, confusion or difficulty concentrating (cognitive impairment) are far less likely than others to visit a dentist or have their eyesight checked, according to new research. It suggests they need more support to access preventive health services.   Cognitive impairment can be mild, or may worsen over time and develop into dementia. The ...


People with dementia need more involvement in decisions about their long-term care

People with dementia are often not involved in key conversations about their future care when they are in hospital. NIHR research found that people with dementia often have their views or wishes overlooked, even when they are able to express their opinions clearly. This group of people can struggle with memory, communication and decision-making, and ...


Home-based rehabilitation after a knee replacement is as effective as physiotherapy

Following knee replacement surgery, a home-based exercise programme delivered by rehabilitation assistants was as effective as traditional physiotherapy given at a clinic. New research found that both approaches had a similar effect. Increasing numbers of people are having knee replacements and needing rehabilitation. As many one in three say that surgery does not lead to ...


Extra emphasis on care after cancer surgery could increase survival worldwide

Complications can occur after cancer surgery, wherever in the world it is carried out. New research suggests that the care provided after surgery can determine whether patients survive. It is often assumed that in low income countries, people are less likely to survive cancer because the disease is more advanced when diagnosed or because specific ...

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