Endometriosis: tackling pain and subfertility

If you’re a woman living with endometriosis, the chances are you’ll be coping with chronic pain, and you may be facing fertility problems too. Here we look at a new overview of Cochrane systematic reviews, which brings together the best available evidence on treatments for these two devastating aspects of endometriosis. Continue reading

Chronic pain: can treatment over the Internet help?

Key message: The Internet offers a means of delivering therapies to people in their homes to help them manage chronic pain and a new Cochrane review has explored the evidence on how well these work. Current evidence suggests that psychological treatments delivered in this way may help adults with non-headache pain, reducing pain, disability, depression and anxiety, but more research is needed before we can be confident about these results. Continue reading

Can a ketogenic diet reduce seizures in people with epilepsy?

It’s National Doodle Day, when people get doodling to support the work of UK charity Epilepsy Action. So we thought we’d bring you some Cochrane evidence on whether a ketogenic diet can help people with epilepsy, in doodle form! Continue reading

Relieve baby’s pain without drugs. Little things that help during a painful procedure

Key message: if your baby has to have a painful procedure, evidence shows that there are things you can do to minimise their pain, including holding their bare chest to yours, giving a sugar solution or breast milk and allowing them to suck or to breastfeed. Continue reading

Nurses under pressure: do risk assessment tools help prevent pressure ulcers?

Tools to help assess a patient’s risk of developing a pressure ulcer have been in use for half a century, but do they actually result in fewer pressure ulcers, or do they take up nurses’ time which could be better spent with the patient? An updated Cochrane review gives us the current state of the evidence. Continue reading

“What matters most to you?” How decision aids help patients make better choices

You might never have heard of a decision aid, but there’s good evidence from a newly updated Cochrane review that they can help people facing decisions about treatment or screening feel better informed about the options and clearer about what matters most to them. This blog looks at what the review found and how decision aids could help to avoid situations like that described by Joanna, who talked to me about her experiences of making a decision about colostomy surgery. Continue reading

TB or not TB? That is the question (and here’s the test that can answer it)

Key message: Xpert® MTB/RIF is a diagnostic test which can quickly detect TB in adults with a high degree of accuracy and without the need for laboratory facilities. It can accurately detect rifampicin resistance in adults thought to have multi-drug resistant TB, allowing treatment to be started quickly. It may be useful, too, as an add-on test after smear microscopy in smear-negative patients.

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