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Life skills programmes for chronic mental illnesses

This review looks at different types of rehabilitation therapy for people with mental health problems. It compares life skills training with occupational therapy and peer support (where a group of people with mental health problems were encouraged to help each other). Comparison was also made with standard or usual care. Life skills, occupational therapy and peer support all aim to promote health by enabling people to perform meaningful and purposeful activities.

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

Version: 2015

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Coping with ADHD in everyday life: Information for parents

Raising a child with ADHD is not easy. Family life is often dominated by conflicts and sometimes there is additional pressure from other people too. Teachers, friends, family members or other parents often assume that the child’s behavior is a result of the wrong kind of parenting. But many parents of children with ADHD gradually develop strategies to help them cope better in everyday life.Raising a child with ADHD can be very challenging. It demands a lot of attention from parents. The child’s behavior often leads to tension within the family or trouble at school. Children with ADHD are abnormally impulsive and restless. They don’t follow rules or instructions and are sometimes aggressive. So it is perfectly normal for parents to sometimes feel helpless, annoyed or even furious, as well as worrying about their child. But it is important to remember that the child is not behaving that way on purpose and that their behavior has nothing to do with their character.Over time, many families come up with strategies to help them cope with everyday situations. There are various strategies to help plan the day and avoid surprises, or to at least be ready for them. Some parents are reluctant to lay down clear rules because they don’t want to be too authoritarian or strict. But the aim of these strategies is to help create an environment in which the child can cope better.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 9, 2015

The effect of a healthy lifestyle for women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a very common condition affecting 4% to 18% of women. Being overweight worsens all clinical features of PCOS. These clinical features include reproductive manifestations such as reduced frequency of ovulation and irregular menstrual cycles, reduced fertility, polycystic ovaries on ultrasound, and high male hormones such as testosterone which can cause excess facial or body hair growth and acne. PCOS is also associated with metabolic features and diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors including high levels of insulin or insulin resistance and abnormal cholesterol levels. PCOS affects quality of life and can worsen anxiety and depression either due to the features of PCOS or due to the diagnosis of a chronic disease. A healthy lifestyle consists of a healthy diet, regular exercise and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. This review identified six studies with 164 participants that assessed the effects of a healthy lifestyle in women with PCOS. In this review, there were no studies reporting on fertility outcomes such as pregnancy, live birth and miscarriage. While some studies reported on menstrual regularity and ovulation, the findings were reported in a variety of ways and it was not possible to estimate the overall effects of lifestyle on these outcomes. Current evidence suggests that following a healthy lifestyle reduces body weight and abdominal fat, reduces testosterone and improves both hair growth, and improves insulin resistance. There was no evidence that a healthy lifestyle improved cholesterol or glucose levels in women with PCOS.

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

Version: 2011

Planning the Transition to End-of-Life Care in Advanced Cancer (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the preparation needed by health care providers, patients, and families for the transition to end-of-life care in advanced cancer.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: November 24, 2015

A comparison of the healthy donor's experience of donating their blood stem cells to a patient who is to receive a stem cell transplant as treatment for cancer of their blood (e.g. leukaemia)

Blood stem cells are collected from a donor in two ways: either through a bone marrow harvest (direct retrieval of the stem cells from the donor's hip bones, under general anaesthetic) or a peripheral blood stem cell collection (retrieval of stem cells using a blood cell separator machine, following a course of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G‐CSF) injections). Both these methods of donation are common. Much research has explored which method of donation gives the best outcome to the patient, however there has not been a lot of research exploring these methods of donation from the donor's perspective. Such research is important if there is the possibility of long‐term adverse events for the donor. For example, the long‐term adverse events of G‐CSF are not known, but there is the suggestion of a correlation between G‐CSF and development of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). However, in many instances, donors are given a choice as to which method they would like to use to donate their stem cells. The aim of this review was to compare directly these two methods of blood stem cell donation from the donor's perspective, to understand the experiences of the donor. In this review, each donor was a sibling of the patient to whom they were donating blood stem cells.

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

Version: 2009

Living with metastatic breast cancer

Being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer often means dealing with feelings of fear, anger and grief. Talking with close friends or relatives can help you cope with the flood of feelings. Exercise, relaxation and other activities that can take your mind off the cancer can improve your general wellbeing in everyday life too.Once metastatic tumors have developed outside of the breast tissue, complete recovery can rarely be expected. Then the aim of treatment is to keep your overall health and quality of life as good as possible for as long as possible.It is common to worry about only having very little time left. At the start it might feel like your entire life is now about waiting for the cancer to progress, new symptoms to arise and further treatments. This can make you feel dejected and hopeless, which may sometimes be more draining and troubling than the physical effects of the disease and its treatment. Many women also feel lonely at times, cut off from the outside world and their friends.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: April 7, 2016

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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Early additional food and fluids for healthy breastfed full‐term infants

Internationally, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is recommended but the practice of giving breastfeeding infants other fluids and/or foods before six months is common in many countries and communities.

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

Version: 2016

No evidence that folic acid with or without vitamin B12 improves cognitive function of unselected elderly people with or without dementia. Long‐term supplementation may benefit cognitive function of healthy older people with high homocysteine levels

In the economically developed world, folate deficiency is one of the commonest vitamin deficiencies. Several reports suggest a higher prevalence of various psychiatric disorders in elderly people with folate deficiency. There is interest in whether dietary supplements of folic acid (an artificial chemical analogue of naturally occurring folates) can improve cognitive function of people at risk of cognitive decline associated with ageing or dementia, whether by affecting homocysteine metabolism or through other mechanisms. Eight trials met the criteria for inclusion. It was not possible to pool the data because the trials studied different populations, tested folic acid in different doses, and used different outcome measures. There were two trials of folic acid in conjunction with B12. The analysis showed significant benefit of folic acid over placebo in some measures of cognition in a long‐term trial recruiting elderly people with high homocysteine levels from a general population. In one pilot trial, 1 mg/day of folic acid was associated with significant improvement in behavioural response to cholinesterase inhibitors in people with Alzheimer's disease.

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

Version: 2009

Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patients with various diseases

Previous research on animal and physiological models suggests that antioxidant supplements have beneficial effects that may prolong life. Some observational studies also suggest that antioxidant supplements may prolong life, whereas other observational studies demonstrate neutral or harmful effects. Our Cochrane review from 2008 demonstrated that antioxidant supplements seem to increase mortality. This review is now updated.

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

Version: 2012

Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics

The goal of this book is to help you better understand health information by teaching you about the numbers behind the messages—the medical statistics on which the claims are based. The book will also familiarize you with risk charts, which are designed to help you put your health concerns in perspective. By learning to understand the numbers and knowing what questions to ask, you’ll be able to see through the hype and find the credible information—if any—that remains.

University of California Press.

Version: 2008
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What are microbes?

Microbes are tiny forms of life that are found all around us. The most common kinds are bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: January 15, 2015

Pregnancy and birth: How helpful is pulse oximetry screening for serious heart defects in newborns?

A newborn baby’s heart and pulse are routinely checked after birth. An additional screening test called pulse oximetry can help detect life-threatening heart defects in newborns earlier and more reliably.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: December 16, 2015

General physical health care advice for people with serious mental illness

People with serious mental illness tend to have poorer physical health than the general population with a greater risk of contracting diseases and often die at an early age. In schizophrenia, for example, life expectancy is reduced by about 10 years. People with mental health problems have higher rates of heart problems (cardiovascular disease), infectious diseases (including HIV and AIDS), diabetes, breathing and respiratory disease, and cancer.

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

Version: 2014

Family Caregivers in Cancer (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the challenges faced by family caregivers of cancer patients. This summary focuses on typical caregiver roles and concerns, and helpful interventions for caregivers.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: July 14, 2015

Bone structure

Bones have to withstand a great deal of pressure in everyday life. They carry our body weight and take on various strains whenever we stand and move around. Their structure and ability to adjust to physical strain make it possible to withstand this stress.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: April 9, 2014

Rheumatoid arthritis: What can be expected from biologic drugs?

Biologic drugs can delay or prevent the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and relieve symptoms like swollen joints, pain and fatigue. One side effect is an increased risk of infection.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 27, 2016

Alzheimer's disease: Overview

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. People who have dementia become forgetful and find it increasingly difficult to express themselves in words. Some, mainly older, people have a combined form of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is caused by blood flow problems in the brain.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 18, 2013

Vaccines for preventing herpes zoster (shingles) in older adults

There is a vaccine to prevent shingles. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine to prevent shingles in healthy older people.

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

Version: 2016

Rehabilitation for cognitive dysfunction in people with multiple sclerosis

This is an update of the Cochrane review 'Neuropsychological rehabilitation for multiple sclerosis' (first published in The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 11).

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

Version: 2014

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