Silver, napkins and some choice morsels of Cochrane evidence

Last week I gave you jellyfish, so don’t let it be said that I only go for the big health issues here! There’s a feast of new evidence in The Cochrane Library and this week, from an extensive menu, I’ve picked out a few tidbits on some more common health problems, plus some great dementia resources and a beautiful project that I want to highlight. 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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Exercise and asthma: what does the evidence say?

Some people with asthma find their symptoms are worse when they exercise, or restrict their physical activity for fear that this will be so. Others report that their asthma symptoms are better when they are fit. Several reviews from the Cochrane Airways Group have recently been published on aspects of exercise for people with asthma. Continue reading

Getting people to exercise: what do we know about what works?

It’s not news that exercise is good for us, but exercise and health have grabbed the headlines again this week with the publication of new research in the BMJ which, according to the BBC, finds ‘exercise can be as good as pills’. For a nice summary of this research and a reminder that actually the data was patchy and the researchers warn that the findings should be interpreted with caution, read this blog by the Lifestyle Elf. Patchy data notwithstanding, we can agree that exercise is a Good Thing, but how can we get people to do it? Most adults are not active at the recommended level. A team at the Cochrane Heart Group has been busy pulling together the research on whether face-to-face interventions and remote and web 2.0 interventions can help promote physical activity (PA) and how they compare with each other and the results have just been published in three new reviews. Continue reading

Swimming and asthma – well tolerated and beneficial, finds new review

Key message: swimming training is well tolerated in children and teens with asthma and increases physical fitness and lung function.  However, it is not known whether this is better and/or safer than other types of physical activity.

World Asthma Day logo 2013We’re putting the spotlight on asthma today. It’s World Asthma Day and the Cochrane Airways Group has just published a new review on swimming training for asthma. World Asthma Day aims to spread the message “you can control your asthma” and this year activity organizers are being encouraged to complete the sentence “It’s time to…” So does this new review suggest that we could finish that sentence with “swim”? Continue reading

How best to prevent falls in older people in care homes and hospitals remains unclear despite large body of evidence

Key message: In care facilities, amongst people with low levels of vitamin D, vitamin D supplementation reduces the rate of falls. Evidence on other strategies to prevent falls in hospitals and care facilities is inconclusive. Continue reading

The benefits of exercise during and after cancer treatment: new Cochrane evidence

Key message:Aerobic exercise may help reduce cancer-related fatigue during and after treatment for solid tumours.

“Exercise is good for you” is a familiar mantra and now there is evidence that aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, may help relieve the tiredness experienced by people having treatment for cancer, particularly solid tumours. A Cochrane review published in 2008 has now been updated, with 28 additional randomized controlled trials (RCTs) bringing the total to 56 RCTs with over 4000 people. Half the trials involved people with breast cancer. Exercise interventions varied between studies. Continue reading