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NIHR Signal Two commonly used pressure redistributing mattresses are similar for preventing pressure ulcers but differ on price
The choice of mattress used in hospital makes no difference to whether adults develop pressure ulcers, or how quickly, but differ on price. This large NIHR-funded trial included 2,029 participants at high risk of developing pressure ulcers and found fewer pressure ulcers overall than expected (7.9%). Half of about 2,000 participants in this large NIHR-funded trial were given high-specification foam mattresses, the current standard of care, and half used alternating pressure mattresses. The alte...
NIHR Signal Computerised speech and language therapy can help people with aphasia find words following a stroke
People with aphasia caused by a stroke showimprovements in retrieving words when they useself-managed computerised speech and language therapy in addition to usual care from a speech and language therapist. No improvements are seen in patients’ conversational abilities or their quality of life. Aphasia is a complex language and communication disorder. It can affect people’s abilities to read, listen, speak, and write or type. Symptoms vary: some people may mix up a few words, while ...
NIHR Signal Online patient feedback is mostly positive — but is not being used effectively
People are increasingly reading online feedback from other patients to gauge service qualitybut fewer people go online to write feedback themselves. Health organisations and professionals are not currently effective at using this feedback to improve services. These findings come from an NIHR-funded study which used five research streams to provide an overview of online patient feedback in the NHS. Healthcare professionals rarely encourage online patient feedback and may be sceptical about it. ...
NIHR Signal Working in groups with ongoing support is valued by people with severe obesity trying to lose weight
People with severe obesity, a BMI of 35kg/m² or more, value the support and motivation they get from weight management programmes that include group-based interventions. However, commissioners and service managers should consider how to maintain adequate support and motivation once programmes end. Although previous studies have assessed the impact of non-surgical weight management programmes for obese adults, this is the first qualitative review to focus on the opinions of providers and ad...
NIHR Signal ‘As-needed’ combination asthma inhalers can be more effective than regular inhaled steroids
In adults with mild to moderate asthma, budesonide-formoterol used as needed for symptom relief was more effective at preventing severe exacerbations than maintenance low-dose budesonide plus as-needed terbutaline. In this trial involving 885 adults, those using the combination inhaler as required had fewer severe asthma attacks, with similar levels of general symptom control, and overall used a lower dose of corticosteroid. The results of this trial suggest that for people with mild asthma, ex...
NIHR Signal Taking blood pressure medications at night seems best
People who took their blood pressure medications at bedtime were 45% less likely to experience a major cardiovascular outcome, such as heart attack or stroke, compared with people who took them in the morning. Most blood pressure medications, diuretics aside, do not have a recommended time of administration. A large trial conducted across 40 general practices in Northern Spain assigned 19,084 adults to take their blood pressure medications either in the morning or at night. Over an average of s...
NIHR Signal Stopping smoking is unlikely to worsen symptoms of ulcerative colitis
Non-smokers and people who stop smoking after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis are unlikely to have more flare-ups or other signs of worsening disease, compared with those who continue to smoke. Smoking is linked to reduced rates of developing ulcerative colitis in some studies. Some patients also believe that smoking can also lessen the symptoms of the disease, although previous research about this has had conflicting results. This study indicates that smoking does not have a significan...
NIHR Signal A less healthy lifestyle increases the risk of dementia
The less healthy your lifestyle, the more you are at risk of developing dementia in later life, a new systematic review has shown. Researchers analysed the results of 18 studies with over 44,000 participants. Having two or more ‘modifiable risk factors’, including smoking, high blood pressure, poor diet, inactivity, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption, puts adults at greater risk of developing dementia. The included studies followed up people without signs of cognitive declin...
NIHR Signal Losing weight following type 2 diabetes diagnosis boosts chance of remission
People who lose at least 10% of their body weight in the first year after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes increase their chances of being in remission after five years, compared with those whose weight remains stable. Losing this achievable amount of weight over the next four years also makes remission more likely. In this study of 867 people, 257 (30%) achieved remission at five-year follow-up. The participants had been taking part in a trial but had not received intensive lifestyle inter...
NIHR Signal Telephone-delivered CBT can provide lasting benefits for people with IBS
People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who receive cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) continue to have lower levels of symptoms over the following two years. Telephone-delivered CBT is particularly effective, with 71% of study participants experiencing a clinically significant improvement in their IBS symptoms. This NIHR-funded study is the 24-month follow-up to an earlier publication of 12-month outcomes for 558 people with IBS receiving usual care alone or additional telephone or web-bas...
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