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.


Most children with life-limiting conditions still die in hospital, not home or hospice

Around seven in 10 children and young people with life-limiting conditions die in hospital, and that has changed little in the past 15 years. New research also found that children from ethnic minorities or deprived areas are more likely than others to end their lives in hospital, rather than in a hospice or at home.  ...


Women with kidney disease can be given a personal risk assessment for pregnancy, following new research

Women with long-term (chronic) kidney disease can now be given a clear indication of the risks of pregnancy, both to themselves and to their babies. New research assesses the likelihood that a baby will be born healthy, and estimates the impact of pregnancy on the woman’s disease. Pregnancy is known to put additional strain on ...


Slip-resistant shoes would prevent injuries among NHS workers

NHS staff wearing slip-resistant footwear with proven grip are less likely to slip or fall at work than those wearing their own shoes. A new trial finds that specialist footwear could substantially reduce the risk of injury in healthcare settings.  Previous research has found that slip-resistant footwear can prevent slips in other workplaces, among fishermen ...


Loneliness is strongly linked to depression among older adults, a long-term study suggests

Depression is a major public health problem that is growing worldwide. The causes are complex and vary from person to person. However, new research estimates that up to one in five cases of depression among older adults could be prevented by reducing loneliness. The study therefore has important public health implications, highlighting the need for ...


What support do young people with sickle cell disease need when moving into adult services?

Young people with sickle cell disease may experience poor care in non-specialist settings when they transition from paediatric to adult health services. New research from This Sickle Cell Life project studied their experiences on general hospital wards and during unplanned visits to A&E departments. The research found that young people would have better experiences of ...


People with painful rheumatic conditions are at increased risk of self-harm

People with painful rheumatic conditions such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis are at increased risk of self-harm. New research found the risk was highest for those with fibromyalgia, who were twice as likely to harm themselves as people without the condition.  Rheumatic conditions are characterised by pain in joints, muscles and/or connective tissue. People ...


Public involvement: long-term partnerships with children and young people can improve research design

Patients and the public can provide researchers with fresh insights or recommendations based on lived experience. But it is sometimes challenging to involve public contributors meaningfully, especially when they are young. Researchers in the MAGIC study worked with a group of young people (a Young Persons Advisory Group, YPAG). They wanted to test a method ...


GPs may help people at risk of self-harm by asking open questions, acknowledging distress, and exploring positive reasons for staying alive

Simple changes to the way doctors ask questions about self-harm and suicidal thoughts could improve conversations with vulnerable patients and enable access to help and support.  A new study found that doctors tend to ask closed questions and, in some instances, inadvertently reinforce the stigma associated with suicide. These approaches made it difficult for patients ...


Low rates of self-harm do not mean low levels of distress in a disadvantaged London community

Some highly deprived areas of London have unexpectedly low rates of self-harm. New research explored why hospital data implies that self-harm is less common than expected. The study was carried out in an ethnically diverse community exposed to multiple long-term stressors such as insecure employment, poor quality housing, and high levels of crime. The study ...


Drinks labels with pictures and guidelines could improve public understanding of Government recommendations

Enhanced labels for alcoholic drinks include pictures to demonstrate their strength, plus an explicit statement of drinking guidelines. New research found that these labels could improve public awareness and understanding of the Government’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines. Government guidelines recommend a weekly maximum of 14 units of alcohol. However, public awareness of the guidelines is ...

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