Evidence
Alert

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 …

Alert

Stopping smoking is unlikely to worsen symptoms of ulcerative colitis

Non-smokers and people who stop smoking after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis are unlikely to have more flare-ups or other signs of worsening disease, compared with those who continue to smoke. Smoking is linked to reduced rates of developing ulcerative colitis in some studies. Some patients also believe that smoking can also lessen the symptoms …

Alert

Robotic surgery for rectal cancer produces similar results to keyhole surgery

Robotic rectal cancer surgery does not appear technically easier than standard keyhole surgery. The researchers, in this trial, judged this by measuring the need to ‘convert’ a keyhole procedure to open surgery when operating. This NIHR-funded trial also found that robotic surgery produced similar clinical results to standard laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery in treating rectal cancer. …

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Telephone-delivered CBT can provide lasting benefits for people with IBS

People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who receive cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) continue to have lower levels of symptoms over the following two years. Telephone-delivered CBT is particularly effective, with 71% of study participants experiencing a clinically significant improvement in their IBS symptoms. This NIHR-funded study is the 24-month follow-up to an earlier publication of …

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Telephone or internet delivered talking therapy can alleviate irritable bowel symptoms

People with irritable bowel syndrome may find cognitive behavioural therapy (a talking therapy) delivered via telephone or internet improves their symptoms. Compared with usual care alone, both interventions were shown to be more effective, with telephone delivery resulting in greater symptom reduction and web-based therapy being more cost-effective. Irritable bowel symptoms can persist long-term and …

Alert

Treatments for depression may help irritable bowel symptoms

Antidepressants are likely to provide more than a placebo effect for those with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Antidepressants improve symptoms in about 60% of those taking them, but two-thirds of that effect may be due to placebo. Psychological therapies, such as talking therapies also appear effective in about half of those offered them but …

Alert

New insights into living with inflammatory bowel disease

Living with inflammatory bowel disease as a `hidden’ condition can lead to feelings of isolation and exclusion. These experiences are characterised by exhaustion, feelings of damaged body image, loss of control and living with the fear of complications. The condition can be unpredictable and have a profound impact on quality of life, disrupting social relationships …

Alert

Stool test is useful before GPs refer for possible inflammatory bowel disease

A stool test by GPs has been shown to support referral decisions for young adults, not suspected of cancer, to investigate possible inflammatory bowel disease (IBD – which includes Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis). This study supports current NICE guidelines that the calprotectin stool test can usefully inform patient referral pathways and reduce unnecessary invasive …

Alert

Albumin administrations can prolong survival for some people with liver disease

Weekly intravenous albumin can prolong the life for people with liver cirrhosis and uncomplicated ascites. Over about 18 months, 17% of patients given albumin died compared with 22% given standard care alone over 11 months. People with very severe (end-stage) cirrhosis develop various complications including a build-up of fluid in the abdomen (ascites). This is …

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