Lessons in disappointment and some New Year’s resolutions

Broken your New Year’s resolutions yet? Research from the US suggests just 8% of people achieve theirs and we know that if you’re hanging onto them into February you’re doing really well. When I thought about making a list of resolutions which clinical trialists and systematic reviewers might like to follow (the cheek of it!), it looked like a welcome distraction from deciding I’m going to take up running (again), eat only healthy snacks and get 10 hours sleep a night. But I find I am coming to this with a rising sense of sadness, disappointment and, well, outrage about some of the evidence gaps. Gaps which leave people struggling with health problems, and those trying to help them, without clear guidance on which interventions might help; and, indeed, on which may make things worse. Continue reading

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An evidence advent calendar!

It turns out that Cochrane’s for Christmas, not just for life, with evidence in the Cochrane Library on all manner of festive things from gold, frankincense and myrrh to stockings! Ok, some of the links are a bit tenuous, but we hope you’ll enjoy our advent calendar.

Owing to some trouble with the technology elves, we couldn’t make it interactive (boo!) but each day we’ll post some Cochrane evidence related to the day’s picture, below the calendar. If you think of any others, do share them via the comments box.

advent calendar

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Reducing unintentional injuries in children through parenting programmes

Key message: parenting interventions, particularly with families from disadvantaged populations, are effective in reducing accidental injuries in children and may also improve home safety.

We need to be concerned about injuries. In industrialized countries, injuries are the leading cause of death in childhood. According to UNICEF, they account for 40% of deaths of children between one and fourteen years. In the UK, over 160 children die from injury each year. They necessitate over two million trips to emergency departments and more than 100,000 hospital admissions annually. This is one of many aspects of health where we see inequality, with children from disadvantaged families experiencing higher rates of injury. Continue reading