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

Advertisements

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

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

Texting for health: updated Cochrane review finds long-term effectiveness of mobile phone interventions to help people stop smoking

Key message: This review update has been able to show that interventions delivered via mobile phones can help people give up smoking and that these benefits are sustained at least six months later.

There is an increasing amount of interest in the medical press and beyond in ‘telehealth’, the use of technologies such as mobile phones and the internet to help in the prevention or management of a range of health conditions, and rightly, for it offers a potentially cost-saving means to reach large numbers of people. Continue reading

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