Evidence
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Intensive speech therapy helps stroke survivors with persistent communication difficulties

Intensive speech and language therapy begun six months or more after a stroke improved verbal communication, language comprehension and self-reported quality of life for those with persistent communication difficulties (chronic aphasia). The therapy in this trial consisted of around 30 hours over three weeks. Participants who received low-intensity therapy (around one hour per week) whilst ...

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Intervention delivered in Northern Irish and Scottish schools reduces binge drinking

An alcohol misuse prevention programme reduced the number of 12 to 14-year-old school pupils reporting “binge” drinking 33 months after the course. The difference was 9% compared with usual education (26% vs 17%). The NIHR-funded Steps Towards Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programme (STAMPP) was tested in a large trial in 105 schools in Northern Ireland and ...

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Public health interventions may offer society a return on investment of £14 for each £1 spent

Each £1 invested in public health interventions could offer an average return on investment to the wider health and social care economy of £14. This systematic review looked at 52 studies where the return on each £1 ranged from -£21.3 to £221. Legislative interventions such as sugar taxes, and health protection interventions such as vaccination ...

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Screen reminders for GPs did not improve anticoagulant prescribing in atrial fibrillation

General practice software that generated screen reminders for patients with atrial fibrillation did not increase the proportion taking oral anticoagulants appropriately by six months. This NIHR-funded trial included GPs in 47 surgeries in England and found that at the start only 63% of eligible patients with atrial fibrillation were being prescribed anticoagulants. Six months later ...

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Online education, pain coaching and advice by video conference can reduce knee pain

For people with chronic knee pain from osteoarthritis, a programme including online education, interactive pain coaching and physiotherapy advice from a professional by skype gave greater improvement in pain and function at nine months than online education alone. The small randomised control trial included 148 adults aged 50 or over in Australia. Clinically meaningful improvements ...

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Continuous insulin pumps may help manage poorly controlled type 2 diabetes

Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusions, or pumps, reduced the amount of daily insulin required by 24 units for people with advanced type 2 diabetes compared to multiple daily insulin injections. Average weight did not differ between treatments. This review compared the two treatments in 590 people from five trials and found that the pumps were linked ...

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Laminar airflow in surgery might not reduce surgical site infections

The type of theatre ventilation system used during hip and knee replacement, abdominal or vascular surgery has no effect on the rate of surgical site infections. Prevention of surgical site infection is a complex area with many potential targets for action. So decisions relating to commissioning or decommissioning these systems will need to consider the ...

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Financial incentives do not increase attendance for diabetic eye screening

Two types of financial incentives are not effective at increasing attendance at eye screening for people with diabetes who do not regularly attend screening. Surprisingly, financial incentives may even reduce the numbers of people attending screening. Retinopathy is a type of eye disease common to people with diabetes. Sight deteriorates only in the later stages ...

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Infants anaesthetised without placing a tube in the trachea have fewer adverse breathing events

Adverse breathing events are about three times more common when using endotracheal tubes than laryngeal mask airways for infants under 12 months receiving non-urgent surgery. Airway problems are common during anaesthesia in children, accounting for three quarters of critical incidents and a third of cardiac arrests. They are more frequent in younger children, especially infants ...

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Group therapy may help a few extra people quit smoking, if other methods fail

Smokers who receive six to eight sessions of a group behaviour treatment were almost twice as likely to quit as those using self-help programmes. However this represents only about four extra successes in every 100 who try. The quit rates after individual advice or brief support were very similar, but adding nicotine replacement gum and ...

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