Evidence

Alerts

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.

Alert

When is it best to start the Parkinson’s drug, levodopa?

Earlier treatment with levodopa provides symptomatic relief to those with symptoms but does not appear to slow Parkinson’s disease from progressing. Therefore, timing is best determined by symptoms. The treatment of Parkinson’s disease is complex. Levodopa is the main drug used to reduce tremors and muscle stiffness. Whether it modifies the course of the disease ...

Alert

Switching to oral antibiotics early for bone and joint infections gave similar results to continuing intravenous therapy

For adults with bone or joint infection, many of whom had metal implants, beginning six weeks of oral antibiotics within seven days of intravenous treatment, was no worse than a regimen delivered wholly intravenously (IV). After one year, around 14% of both groups still had an infection, showing the difficulty of treatment, irrespective of the ...

Alert

Getting hospital patients up and moving shortens stay and improves fitness

Interventions to encourage patients admitted to hospital for medical problems to get out of bed and walk around increases their mobility, without increasing their risk of falls. Older inpatients frequently spend much of their time in bed, which risks a loss of physical condition and muscle tone. This can make it harder for them to ...

Alert

Communication problems are top of patients’ concerns about hospital care

Patients have different concerns from clinicians when asked about problems with their care, and may identify preventable safety issues. When trained volunteers surveyed 2,471 patients from three NHS Trusts in England, 23% of patients identified concerns about their care. The biggest category of concerns related to communication, with staffing issues and ward environment the next ...

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E-cigarettes helped more smokers quit than nicotine replacement therapy

Smokers who use NHS stop smoking services appear almost twice as likely to be successful for a year if they use e-cigarettes than if they use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. In a trial of 866 smokers who used NHS stop smoking services, 18% of those assigned to e-cigarettes were abstinent 12 months from their ...

Alert

Are track and trigger systems linked to rates of in-hospital cardiac arrest?

Use of the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) to monitor adults in hospital is associated with reduced risk of having a cardiac arrest while in hospital. Using an electronic rather than paper-based system is also linked to reduced risk. Many patients who die from a cardiac arrest while in hospital show signs of deterioration beforehand ...

Alert

Does an antibacterial milk protein reduce infection in premature babies?

Lactoferrin, a protein found in human and cows milk, does not appear to protect premature infants from late-onset infections. When given to babies born before 32 weeks, their risk of acquiring infections, such as sepsis, was virtually the same as those in the control group, about 30%. Late-onset infections, those occurring 72 hours or more ...

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Various drugs are effective and well-tolerated for generalised anxiety disorder

There are various drugs options for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder, from different medication classes. This study found that most evidence was available for the serotonin and noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitors (SNRI) duloxetine and venlafaxine, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) escitalopram, and the anti-epileptic pregabalin. All appear well-tolerated and reduce symptoms compared with placebo. ...

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Having more registered nurses on general wards is linked to lower mortality

Higher registered nurse staffing levels are associated with lower mortality, and the fact that fewer vital sign observations are missed is the most likely explanation for this. Increasing registered nursing staff by an hour for each patient per day could reduce the risk of death by 3%. If the ratio of healthcare assistants to nurses ...

Alert

One gram a day of omega-3 supplements does not reduce the risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease

A trial of omega-3 fatty acid supplements showed they have little or no effect on the risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease in the general population. The finding contradicts the widespread belief that these supplements at usual doses protect the heart. A large trial of 25,871 men and women in the United States compared the ...

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