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.


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 ...


Careful phrasing of requests by hospital staff could help people with dementia accept care

More than a quarter of hospital patients have dementia and many refuse food, drink, medication or requests to be examined. This presents healthcare professionals with a dilemma. They need to strike a balance between respecting a patient’s wishes, while also delivering effective care. New research included people with dementia who needed acute care in hospital. ...


Supported self-management for people with asthma is the most effective model of care

Self-management of asthma means healthcare professionals educating, training and supporting people with asthma so they learn to manage their own condition. But there is little evidence to guide the level of support patients need from their healthcare team. This study compared four self-management models for asthma by reviewing existing research papers. The most effective model ...


Addressing misconceptions about eczema could help people manage their condition over the long term

Common misconceptions about eczema can get in the way of effective treatment. People with eczema are often worried about using treatment creams prescribed by their doctor, particularly those containing corticosteroids. Young people may not view their condition as long term, which can lead to disappointment if it does not disappear when they get older. Researchers ...


Dementia Care Mapping: Care home managers and staff need more support to improve care

Many care homes are struggling to implement a tool designed to help them better meet the needs of people with dementia. New research suggests that care home managers need to be supported, trained and engaged when such tools are introduced into care homes. The tool, called Dementia Care Mapping (DCM), aims to improve practices in ...


Hip replacements: some surgical approaches are better than others, research suggests

A common surgical approach used for hip replacements carries higher risks of worse outcomes and should not be routinely adopted by trainee surgeons, a new analysis suggests. The study found significantly worse outcomes associated with so-called lateral procedures to the hip joint, in which surgeons access the hip by detaching muscle from the side of ...


People with dementia from ethnic minority backgrounds face extra barriers in accessing care

People with dementia from ethnic minority backgrounds face inequalities in diagnosis and access to care, compared with White British patients. A large study in South East London found that at the time of diagnosis, overall, they are more likely to be on multiple medications, but less likely to be taking antidepressants. Some groups face problems ...

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