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Restriction of oral intake of water for aspiration lung disease in children

Primary aspiration of food and fluid can cause serious lung consequences in infants and children. Treatment recommendations for children who have primary aspiration of thin fluids includes restriction of thin fluids and provision of thickened fluids. Children often refuse to drink thickened fluids presenting a challenge for families to ensure that the child takes sufficient fluid. Allowing children who have thin fluid aspiration to drink water may assist in providing enough fluid without endangering the lung . This review found no evidence about drinking water in children with primary aspiration of thin fluids.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Mobile phone messaging for preventive health care

Many costly and disabling conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer or diabetes are linked by common preventable risk factors like tobacco use, unhealthy nutrition, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use. However, prevention still plays a secondary role in many health systems as all too often, healthcare workers fail to seize interactions with patient as opportunities to inform them about health promotion and disease prevention strategies. This review examined whether mobile phone applications such as Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Message Service (MMS) can support and enhance primary preventive health interventions.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Prostaglandin E1 helps many men suffering from erectile dysfunction to have sexual intercourse

Men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED) are unable to achieve an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. One of the most common treatment is with prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), a naturally occurring PGE used to treat this dysfunction. Men either inject PGE1 into their penis or insert a pellet containing the drug into the end of the penis (into the urethra). The review of trials found that men using PGE1 reported more satisfactory sexual experiences. Higher doses gave greater benefits but also increased the adverse effects. The most common adverse effect is some pain, and men may prefer the urethral medication rather than injections.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2008

Smart Health Choices: Making Sense of Health Advice

This book aims to help consumers and practitioners develop the skills to assess health advice – and hopefully to make decisions that will improve the quality of their care. For some people, making better-informed decisions could be life saving. We hope that it will be useful if you are struggling to come to terms with an illness or injury, and the best ways of managing it. Or you may simply want to lead a healthier life, and may be wondering how to make sense of the often conflicting flood of health information that deluges us every day, through the media, and from our friends and health practitioners.

Hammersmith Press.

Version: 2008
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Oestrogens and progestins for preventing and treating postpartum depression

Additional research needed to evaluate the effect of oestrogens for the prevention and treatment of postpartum depression but synthetic progesterones should not be administered.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

No evidence to support or refute glucocorticosteroids for patients with primary biliary cirrhosis

Primary biliary cirrhosis is a chronic progressive cholestatic liver disease of presumed autoimmune aetiology. The clinical course might be improved by glucocorticosteroids. Only two small randomised clinical trials on this topic were identified. The trials were not large enough in terms of sample size or length of follow up to allow changes in mortality to be adequately evaluated. Glucocorticosteroids were associated with improvement in serum markers of inflammation and liver histology, both of which were of uncertain clinical significance. Glucocorticosteroids were also associated with adverse events, including reduced bone mineral density. Further trials are necessary if the effectiveness of glucocorticosteroids is to be properly evaluated.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2008

Beta‐blockers for congestive heart failure in children

The term congestive heart failure describes a disorder in which the heart is unable to sufficiently and efficiently pump blood through the body. Depending on the severity of the condition, this causes breathlessness and fatigue due to insufficient oxygen supply as well as accumulation of fluids in tissues and organs. In children, congestive heart failure is mainly due to congenital heart defects. Drug treatment, depending on the specific condition, may be used for long‐term control of heart failure, or to bridge the time until corrective surgery. For dilated or restrictive cardiomyopathy, a disorder with a high mortality, heart transplantation remains the only option when drug treatment fails. Beta‐blockers have proven beneficial and even life‐saving in adults with congestive heart failure and are therefore part of the standard treatment. For children, similar benefits have to be expected, but beta‐blockers are, if at all, used off‐label. Since in children the causes for heart failure are different from those in adults, the main effect as well as adverse events may differ. In addition dosing might have to be specifically adapted for different age groups. This review therefore summarises and discusses the available information on the use of beta‐blockers in children with congestive heart failure. Three studies with 20, 22 and 161 patients respectively were included in the review. While the two smaller trials were able to show an improvement of heart failure with beta‐blocker therapy, the trial with 161 participants did not show a significant effect of the investigated beta‐blocker over placebo. Neither of the studies reported any severe beta‐blocker related adverse events. There are not enough data to recommend or discourage the use of beta‐blockers in children with congestive heart failure. Further investigations are required to establish guidelines for therapy. 

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Indoor air modification interventions for prolonged non‐specific cough in children

Prolonged, non‐specific cough is common in childhood and is treated with a variety of therapies. There is a growing market for non‐pharmacological treatments and these include air‐modification modalities, (ionisers, vaporisers, humidifiers, air filters and regular vacuuming). No randomised controlled trials examining the efficacy of air‐modulation modalities in the management of prolonged, non‐specific cough in children were found. Therefore, based on the evidence currently available, a recommendation for these treatments cannot be given. Due to the popularity of air‐modulation modalities, randomised controlled trials in this area are clearly needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Anticholinergics for prolonged non specific cough in children

Children with non‐specific cough, (non‐productive cough in the absence of identifiable chest disease) are commonly treated with a variety of medications for control of cough symptoms. This review examined the effect of inhaled anti‐cholinergic drugs in children with non‐specific cough. Currently there is no evidence to support the use of inhaled anti‐cholinergics as no randomised‐controlled trials of inhaled anti‐cholinergic medications in the management of prolonged non‐specific cough in children were found.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

Inhaled cromones for prolonged non‐specific cough in children

Children with non‐specific cough (coughing not due to a diagnosed respiratory disease), are commonly treated with a variety of medications to treat the symptoms of cough. This review examined whether there was any evidence for children with non‐specific cough to inhale cromoglycate and nedocromil (commonly called 'cromones'). There were no randomised controlled trials identified that assessed inhalation of cromones for prolonged non‐specific cough in children. In two non‐randomised studies, the researchers found that improvements were seen within two weeks of taking cromones. Because cromones have few adverse effects, they are an attractive treatment for children. However, there is no evidence to support their routine use for the symptoms of non‐specific cough in children. Further research examining the effects of this treatment is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

Rapid versus slow withdrawal of antiepileptic drugs

Epilepsy is a disorder where recurrent seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges of the brain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Leukotriene receptor antagonist for prolonged non‐specific cough in children

Children with non‐specific cough (dry and non‐productive cough without any other respiratory symptom, sign or systemic illness) are commonly treated with a variety of medications to treat the symptom of cough. This review examined whether there was any evidence for using leukotriene receptor antagonist in children with non‐specific cough. There were two randomised controlled trials that included, but was not restricted to, children with non‐specific cough, whereby no significant advantage over placebo was found in both studies. There is no RCT evidence to support the routine use of leukotriene receptor antagonist for the symptom of non‐specific cough in children. Further research examining the effects of this treatment using child appropriate cough outcome measures is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Interventions for treating pregnant women or new mothers with heart failure of unknown cause (peripartum cardiomyopathy)

Very rarely, some women suffer from heart failure (without any known cause) in late pregnancy or as a new mother. The heart muscle becomes large and weakened, and is unable to pump blood properly round the body. This affects the lungs, liver, and other body systems. Symptoms include: difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, the heart racing or skipping beats. There can also be chest pain, swelling, and excessive weight gain during the last month of pregnancy. Women need to be cared for in intensive care wards. Labour is often medically induced earlier than normal if the problem arises late in pregnancy. These babies then suffer the problems of being born too early (prematurely). This review looked at interventions which might reduce harm for women with this condition The interventions included drugs, heart or blood monitoring, supportive therapies and heart transplants. We found only one pilot study, involving 20 women with heart failure after giving birth, that looked at bromocriptine given over a period of eight weeks. There were not enough data to provide a clear answer on the number of mothers dying, but the drug looked promising. Biochemical measurements were also made. Women need to be informed that the drug stops the production of breastmilk, making breastfeeding impossible. We found no trials on other possible interventions. Large trials are needed to decide the best treatment for these women and their babies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

No evidence from trials to show the effects of routine monitoring of intracranial pressure following head injury

The brain is situated in a rigid box (the skull) that cannot expand, so normal swelling from injury cannot occur. When brain swelling does occur, pressure inside the skull rises. This makes it harder for the heart to pump the oxygen and blood into the brain needed for recovery. If this swelling is not controlled, further brain damage is caused. Efforts to avoid this damage can include routine monitoring of the pressure inside the skull (intracranial). The review of trials found no evidence to show the effects of routine measurement of pressure in the skull. More research is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Inhaled corticosteroids for treating non‐specific chronic cough in children

Persistent cough in childhood is a common problem that is sometimes confused with asthma. This review questions the appropriateness of the common practice of using inhaled corticosteroids in the treatment of children with cough and without any other evidence of asthma or any other chronic chest condition. The review found that there is currently no good evidence to suggest that treatment with standard doses of inhaled corticosteroids will be beneficial.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Cognitive rehabilitation for memory deficits following stroke

It is uncertain whether cognitive rehabilitation can improve memory problems after stroke. Memory problems are a common complaint for people who have had a stroke. Neuropsychological rehabilitation, and cognitive rehabilitation in particular, may play a role in the recovery of memory functions, or in the individual's potential to adapt to the deficits. Memory rehabilitation can address both these aspects and is a standard part of rehabilitation in many settings. This review of two trials involving 18 participants found that there was little evidence to support the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation for memory problems after stroke and more research in this area is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2008

Honey and lozenges for children with non‐specific cough

Symptomatic relief is often sought for children with chronic non‐specific cough (which is defined as a dry, non‐productive cough with no known cause lasting longer than four consecutive weeks).  This review aimed to assess the efficacy of treating children with such coughs using honey or lozenges, as these options are inexpensive.  No randomised controlled trials were found to be applicable to this review, primarily due to the participants in the studies not fulfilling the inclusion criteria.  However, studies on the efficacy of these treatments in treating acute cough in children showed that honey has the potential to be beneficial in children over a year old.  Further research evaluating the efficacy of honey and lozenges in treating chronic non‐specific coughs in children is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Bed rest during pregnancy for preventing miscarriage

Not enough evidence to say if bed rest helps in preventing miscarriage.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

Vitamin D for the treatment of chronic painful conditions in adults

Vitamin D has a variety of roles in the body. It is made in the skin through the action of sunlight and can also be obtained from food. A lack of vitamin D has been implicated in a number of diseases, including chronic painful conditions. Additionally, associations of such diverse types of pain as headache, abdominal pain, knee pain, and back pain with season of the year and latitude provide indirect support for a role for vitamin D. The possibility of a link between vitamin D and chronic pain has attracted interest because ‐ if it was true ‐ vitamin D would be a cheap and relatively safe treatment for chronic pain. There is some evidence supporting this link but it is not of high quality and is at risk of bias. This review sought out high quality evidence from Randomised Controlled Trials on the treatment of chronic pain with vitamin D. There were few high quality studies of which only one reported a beneficial effect. At present, therefore, there is insufficient evidence for an effect of vitamin D in chronic pain conditions. More research is needed to determine if vitamin D is a useful pain treatment at all and if so, whether the effect is restricted to those who are vitamin D deficient, how much vitamin D is useful, in which conditions, and for how long.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Should laparoscopic adhesiolysis be used in patients with acute small bowel intestinal obstruction?

Abdominal laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique in which operations are achieved through incision (usually 2‐3 cm) using a laparoscope which is connected to a video camera. Small bowel obstruction is an event that may follow open surgery. According to several studies laparoscopic surgery is technically feasible and safe for the treatment of small bowel obstruction, however little is known about its efficacy in terms of mortality and morbidity.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

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