Evidence
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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 ...

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Gabapentin does not reduce long-term pelvic pain, and has unpleasant side effects, research finds

Gabapentin should not be used to treat women with long-term (chronic) pelvic pain. New research found that the drug does not reduce pain, nor does it improve women’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Compared to a dummy pill (placebo), gabapentin was also linked to serious side effects. More than one million women in the UK have ...

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People with anaemia may not benefit from iron therapy ahead of major abdominal surgery, research finds

People with anaemia who were due to have major abdominal surgery did not see the expected benefits from receiving iron infusions in advance. A new study found that iron infusions did not reduce blood transfusions or deaths compared to a dummy treatment with salt water (placebo). There was no reduction in complications while people were ...

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An innovative swallowable sponge detects Barrett's oesophagus in people with heartburn, study shows

Detection of a pre-cancerous throat condition called Barrett’s oesophagus can be improved with the use of an innovative swallowable sponge and laboratory test, a large multicentre trial found. Heartburn, caused by acid reflux from the stomach up into the gullet (oesophagus), is common among people visiting their GP. It is usually treated with acid suppressants. ...

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Women with cancer of the stomach or oesophagus are more likely to survive than men, but they have worse side effects from chemotherapy

Women treated for cancer of the stomach or oesophagus (the muscular tube which moves food from mouth to stomach) may survive longer than men. An analysis of over 3000 patients with these cancers also found that women experienced more nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea during therapy. Cancer-related survival was the same for older (70 or over) ...

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People with anorectal melanoma may not benefit from radical surgery

New research suggests that limited surgery is preferable to radical surgery for a rare and aggressive type of cancer called anorectal melanoma. This cancer starts in the anus or rectum (back passage). In limited surgery (wide local excision or WLE), the cancer and a small area around it is removed. In more radical surgery (abdominoperineal ...

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A new technique could make more livers available for transplant

Demand for liver transplants is so high that many people on the waiting list die before they can receive a transplant. But surgeons are rejecting increasing numbers of donated livers because they are not satisfied with the quality. New research could address this problem and make more livers available for transplant. Current practice is for ...

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Tranexamic acid should not be used for patients with severe gastrointestinal bleeding

A drug called tranexamic acid is used to control severe bleeding caused by injury or childbirth. Some doctors had also started using it to treat patients with severe gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, which is a common medical emergency. Evidence from small trials had suggested it could reduce deaths. The HALT-IT (Haemorrhage alleviation with tranexamic acid-Intestinal system) ...

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MRI and ultrasound scans are both helpful in assessing Crohn’s disease; MRI is slightly more accurate

Two types of scan, MRI and ultrasound, work well when used for staging and monitoring Crohn’s disease. MRI is more accurate. Researchers compared a form of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging that includes an oral contrast agent, with ultrasound scans. They aimed to see which was better able to detect the presence and extent of active ...

Collection

My Signals - Patients, 2019

In My Signals, health and social care staff and service users tell us what research is important to them and why they feel others need to know about it. In this collection, we asked seven members of the public to tell us which Signals have interested them most and explain why they feel the findings ...

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