Evidence
Alert

Apps to help patients take medication on time need to be evaluated in a consistent way

Patients who used apps to remind them to take their medication were more likely to say they took it as prescribed. A review found that patients were twice as likely to say they followed the information given by their prescriber (adhered to their medication) if they used an app. Taking medication as prescribed is important …

Alert

Social prescribing could empower patients to address non-medical problems in their lives

Many GP practices are exploring social prescribing, which is a way of linking patients to sources of support in the local community. Social prescribing addresses non-medical needs such as loneliness and financial difficulties. The NHS employs link workers to connect patients with local support networks. During the COVID-19 crisis, link workers may have an even …

Alert

Support programme for GP practices increases referrals for domestic abuse

Many GPs take little action when they encounter women they suspect are affected by domestic abuse. A training and support programme used by hundreds of practices across several London boroughs was successful in increasing referrals to specialist services, a study found. The research shows that the right interventions can help doctors and nurses ensure that …

Alert

Pedometers can help people get more active as part of an exercise programme

Pedometers and accelerometers helped people with diabetes or cardiovascular diseases to increase their physical activity by a moderate amount, though pedometers were more successful. Programmes that involved face-to-face consultations with a facilitator were more effective than those where devices were used in isolation to track progress. This NIHR-funded systematic review included 36 trials which objectively …

Alert

Text messaging support helps smokers quit, but apps not yet shown to work

Text messaging support helps people quit smoking, more than minimal support such as self-help materials. Also, when text messaging is combined with another smoking cessation intervention, it is more effective than just that intervention alone. However, the evidence to support smartphone apps is absent or of poor quality. This review included 26 studies and builds …

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Whole-school programme can have a small effect on reducing bullying in secondary schools

An anti-bullying intervention trialled at 20 UK secondary schools resulted in a reduction in bullying incidents at school. The ‘Learning Together’ initiative was funded by the NIHR and designed to modify the school environment and provide social and emotional support. The trial took place over three years and involved around 3,000 pupils who were 11 …

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Fewer infections with antibiotic-impregnated shunts for hydrocephalus

Antibiotic-impregnated shunt catheters led to fewer infections than standard catheters in this study, although the overall rate of shunt revision remained about the same. In hydrocephalus, a shunt is a device consisting in part of a long catheter (a tube) that relieves the raised pressure of fluid in the ventricles of the brain. It is …

Alert

Working in groups with ongoing support is valued by people with severe obesity trying to lose weight

People with severe obesity, a BMI of 35kg/m² or more, value the support and motivation they get from weight management programmes that include group-based interventions. However, commissioners and service managers should consider how to maintain adequate support and motivation once programmes end. Although previous studies have assessed the impact of non-surgical weight management programmes for …

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

Twenty mph speed zones reduce the danger to pedestrians and cyclists

Introducing 20mph speed zones reduces road traffic accidents, including those suffered by pedestrians and cyclists. Speed zones use physical obstacles such as road narrowing, speed bumps and chicanes, whereas speed limits only use signs and lines. The evidence was inconclusive on whether limiting speed to 20mph alone was effective, without the traffic calming. There was …

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