Evidence
Collection

Mental health and COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the constraints it has imposed on people is an issue of interest and concern to patients, service users, carers and health and social care professionals alike. In pandemic conditions it is likely that people’s existing mental health problems may get worse. Mental health may also decline because of social ...

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Teams of healthcare professionals from a wide range of disciplines and pay grades are most effective at delivering improvements in patients’ experiences

Teams with the most diverse range of skills, knowledge and experience may be most effective at planning and implementing projects to improve patients’ experience of the NHS. A study looked at the resources, or ‘team capital’ of groups aiming to make improvements to the quality of service. They found teams with members from a range ...

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Psychiatric drugs given to children and adolescents have been ranked in order of safety

Dozens of drugs prescribed for psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents have been ranked in order of safety by an international team of psychiatrists. The drugs are prescribed for mental health conditions including depression, psychosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and mood disorders. All drugs can have unwanted side effects (adverse effects). The researchers looked ...

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Anti-inflammatory drugs do not lift depression in bipolar disorder

Two drugs which are often used to treat inflammation failed  to help people with bipolar depression. Previous research has suggested that inflammation of the brain may be involved in some mental illnesses, including depression. It meant that drugs which block inflammation could potentially be a new way of treating depression. But the first large clinical ...

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Adopted children can experience lasting mental health problems

Adopted children in the UK can face enduring mental health and behavioural problems. New research found no improvement in children's mental health four years after they were adopted. The children's emotional and behavioural problems increased with the number of adverse childhood experiences they had. These adverse childhood experiences include abuse, neglect and unstable living arrangements. ...

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Screening for lymphoedema after breast cancer surgery could identify women likely to benefit from compression sleeves

Some women having breast cancer surgery would benefit from screening to pick up lymphoedema (swelling of the arm that can become long-term). This can develop as a complication of surgery if lymph nodes are removed. Lymph nodes under the arm normally drain fluid from the breast. They may be removed during breast cancer surgery to ...

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The weekly break from dialysis is harmful to patients with kidney failure

The way that dialysis is normally scheduled in hospitals leaves a gap that may be harmful to the health of kidney patients. If, in addition, patients miss a scheduled session, the risks of hospital admission or death increase dramatically. When someone’s kidneys are not working properly, waste products and fluid can build up to dangerous ...

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Early warning scores used in hospitals must be based on sound science

Early warning scores have been used in UK hospitals since the late 1990s to minimise harm to patients. They are designed to highlight deterioration of a patient’s health using measurements of temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and other easily-measured signs.  Research has shown that changes in these signs could mean patients are at increased risk ...

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High rates of delirium, persistent fatigue and post-traumatic stress disorder were common after severe infection in previous coronavirus outbreaks

Little is known about the mental health consequences of severe COVID-19 illness because it is caused by a new coronavirus. Previous outbreaks caused by other coronaviruses (severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS, and Middle East respiratory syndrome, MERS) may provide insights into ongoing problems after recovery from severe illness.  Researchers looked at reports of psychiatric problems ...

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Fluoxetine does not improve outcomes after stroke

Many people experience disability after a stroke, such as weakness in the arm or leg, or problems with language and communication. The antidepressant drug fluoxetine has been used to reduce disability following a stroke but it is unclear how effective it is. The first of three large-scale trials into the impact of fluoxetine in stroke ...

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Cycling to work lowers risk of illness and death compared to driving

People who cycle to work are at lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and death than those who drive. This is seen across all occupational groups and suggests that cycling to work could benefit people from all economic backgrounds. The UK government has advised against using public transport during the coronavirus pandemic. This could result ...

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New tool for assessing the severity of type 2 diabetes could help personalise treatment and improve outcomes

A new severity scoring system for type 2 diabetes may be better at identifying patients at risk of declining health than the current commonly used blood test. The Diabetes Severity Score (DISSCO) is a computer algorithm that combines information routinely collected in primary care. Researchers found that a higher DISSCO score was linked to an ...

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Lung health checks in supermarket car parks reach older smokers in deprived communities

Tests carried out on mobile units parked in supermarket car parks were a popular and effective way to check the lungs of at-risk current and former smokers in a study in Manchester.     Simple tests of lung function in these mobile units found more than a third of those screened had evidence of airflow obstruction. This ...

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Bespoke shoes and insoles could prevent foot ulcers in people with diabetes

Shoes and insoles which are custom-made to relieve pressure on the foot could prevent ulcers in people with diabetes. Foot ulcers are a serious complication of the disease and can lead to amputation if they are not managed appropriately. Even a mild injury can cause a foot ulcer. Researchers wanted to identify design features of ...

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Damage to kidneys and eyes may start before people are diagnosed with diabetes

One in two people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes already have damage to their eyes, kidneys or heart. That damage is more likely if they had problems with blood sugar control before being diagnosed. Diabetes causes damage to blood vessels, because of poorly-controlled levels of sugar in the blood. These damaged blood vessels can lead ...

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Most people caring for relatives with dementia experience loneliness

Around two-thirds of family carers of people with dementia experience loneliness. Almost half are moderately lonely and a fifth are severely lonely, reports one of the first large scale studies to look at this issue. Carers who felt lonely tended to have lower wellbeing, smaller social networks, and more stress associated with caregiving. A poor-quality ...

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Loneliness in people with dementia is linked to social isolation and depression

One-third of people with mild-to-moderate dementia experience loneliness. 30% are moderately lonely and 5% are severely lonely, reports one of the first major studies to look at the issue. These figures are comparable to the general population of older people. People with dementia who live alone, and who experience social isolation, depression and lower quality ...

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Most patients leaving hospital in India are given inadequate medical information

A lack of medical information could make it more difficult for patients to recover after they are discharged from hospital. Patients with long term conditions such as cancer or diabetes, called chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), need repeated visits to doctors. Surveys in India included hundreds of patients with NCDs and showed that only half receive ...

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Drug users who lack access to clean water use dangerous alternatives to prepare injections

Strategies to reduce the harm to homeless people who inject drugs rarely focus on their lack of access to clean water. This matters because injecting drugs prepared with unclean water or alternatives to water can lead to serious infections and illness. A study explored how people who inject drugs typically prepare injections, including when they ...

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Asthma patients with a history of opioid use have worse outcomes

A new study of asthma patients with and without a history of drug misuse found that rates of attendance at an annual asthma review were poor across the whole group. Rates of flu vaccination, which is recommended for people with asthma, were also generally low. However, patients with a history of opioid use disorders (OUD) ...

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