Evidence
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Mental health care during pregnancy and afterwards: women from some ethnic minority backgrounds face barriers to access

Women who have mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year after giving birth (the perinatal period) can face challenges in seeking professional help. New research found the problem is more pronounced for women from Black African, Asian and White Other backgrounds. They had poorer access to services in the community than White ...

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Parents are meaningfully involved in decisions on the care of their critically ill baby when they are given options not recommendations

Faced with the decision of whether to limit life support for their critically ill baby, parents fare better when doctors present them with options, rather than making recommendations. New research described distinct styles of communication used by doctors. Each had a different impact on parents’ involvement in decision-making. The researchers suggest this could in turn ...

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First-time mothers need clear and consistent information about the care they can expect after giving birth

The first six to eight weeks after giving birth is an important time in a woman’s transition into motherhood. But currently little is known about what pregnant women expect, or how well informed they feel in advance about the care they will receive during this postnatal period. The current national guidance in England covers the ...

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Pregnancy loss leads to post-traumatic stress in one in three women

Almost one in three women develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after early pregnancy loss, a new study shows. For some, signs of PTSD, anxiety and depression are still evident nine months later. Early pregnancy losses are common, but the consequences and psychological impact are often overlooked. Current care varies, but most women receive no formal ...

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Informed decision-making when birth defects are suspected: new research brings fresh insight

Parents expecting a baby suspected of having a serious birth defect must decide whether or not to continue the pregnancy. This research provides fresh insight into the decision-making process for these parents. Informed decision-making is expected throughout the NHS. The new research highlights the difficulty of putting this into practice when birth defects are diagnosed ...

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First-line chemotherapy for ovarian cancer given once every three weeks may preserve quality of life

Women with a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer receiving weekly chemotherapy may have reduced quality of life compared to those receiving treatment every three weeks because the more frequent treatment may cause long-lasting nerve damage. Ovarian cancer is usually treated every three weeks with chemotherapy containing the medicines carboplatin and paclitaxel. A study in Japan ...

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Missed miscarriage should be treated with mifepristone plus misoprostol rather than misoprostol alone

A combination of two drugs – mifepristone and misoprostol – was more effective than mifepristone alone for treating missed miscarriage. A large, multi-centre trial found that women given the combination were more likely to have completed their miscarriage within a week, and less likely to need follow-up surgery. During a miscarriage of pregnancy, the baby ...

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Womb cancer could be detected early with an inexpensive new blood test

A simple, low-cost blood test offers great potential as a tool for diagnosing womb cancer, and for screening high-risk women. The test gives almost instant results and in a new study, it picked up changes in the womb that could lead to cancer (pre-cancerous growths). In the UK, womb cancer is the fourth most common ...

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Women with womb cancer are to be offered a genetic test for Lynch syndrome

All women undergoing treatment for womb cancer are to be offered tests for an inherited genetic condition. New guidance from NICE was published on 28 October. It follows research that showed that almost all women invited to have the test took up the offer. Around three to four in 100 women with womb (endometrial) cancer ...

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Prozac may be the best treatment for young people with depression – but more research is needed

Children and adolescents with moderate-to-severe depression are being prescribed treatments that are not backed by reliable evidence. There is insufficient data on whether treatments work and if they are safe. Unlike for adults, the best way to treat symptoms of depression in these age groups is unknown. A review of 71 separate trials found that ...

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