Bringing harmony to the hospital: music as therapy

Music has the potential to make everything better, doesn’t it? Arguably, this is so in any and all situations. In difficult circumstances, it can help us endure. Music can take the edge off the pain, in both body and mind. No wonder there is a keen interest in exploring its potential to help us in various healthcare settings and this has been the subject of many Cochrane reviews.  Continue reading

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Benefits and black holes in the latest Cochrane evidence

If you read my last blog, you’ll know I’ve been getting hot under the collar about evidence gaps and I’m not about to quieten down about those any time soon, as you’ll see if you read to the end of the blog. There are not just gaps but some enormous black holes, this time not because no evidence was found but because so much of it was unusable. But at least there’s good news too; some reviewers find what they’re looking for and can give us evidence which shows benefits from particular interventions. So, if you logged on thinking you’d like to read about teeth, pain (from several causes), schizophrenia treatments, gut bacteria and jellyfish (really!), you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading

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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Cochrane evidence on managing depression, schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders

Two more mental health reviews published in Issue 10 in The Cochrane Library are the subject of excellent blogs from The Mental Elf. These new reviews, from the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group and the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group, look at the evidence on duloxetine compared with other drugs for depression, and on information and communication technology in patient education and support for people with schizophrenia. A third blog neatly summarises a new review from the Cochrane Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group on the effectiveness of Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders, an approach which is widely used with the aim of improving functional behaviours and skills in these children. They’re well worth reading and you can find them from the links below. Continue reading