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NIHR Signal Conventional fillings may not add much to standard prevention for decay in baby teeth
Sealing in decay, improving tooth hygiene and using conventional fillings all work to prevent future dental pain and infection for children with decay in baby teeth. The approaches are equally acceptable to children and parents. Researchers tested three methods of managing decay in the primary molars of children aged three to seven: best practice prevention (advice on cutting down on sugar, twice-daily tooth brushing with fluoride, application of fluoride varnish) best practice prevention p...
NIHR Signal A lifestyle change programme not effective for those at risk of heart disease or stroke
A package of extra support, including motivational interviewing, did not add value in terms of boosting weight loss or physical activity in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease, a new study has found. This NIHR-funded trial recruited 1,220 people deemed at high risk of heart disease or stroke. Researchers compared the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the enhanced support, which was based on cognitive theory, in either a group or individual format. A third group was referred to commun...
NIHR Signal Pedometers can help people get more active as part of an exercise programme
Pedometers and accelerometers helped people with diabetes or cardiovascular diseases to increase their physical activity by a moderate amount, though pedometers were more successful. Programmes that involved face-to-face consultations with a facilitator were more effective than those where devices were used in isolation to track progress. This NIHR-funded systematic review included 36 trials which objectively measured the activity of people with cardiac or metabolic conditions, and in which wea...
NIHR Signal Text messaging support helps smokers quit, but apps not yet shown to work
Text messaging support helps people quit smoking, more than minimal support such as self-help materials. Also, when text messaging is combined with another smoking cessation intervention, it is more effective than just that intervention alone. However, the evidence to support smartphone apps is absent or of poor quality. This review included 26 studies and builds on the evidence from an earlier, smaller review, indicating that text messaging support is an effective way to help smokers quit. Mob...
NIHR Signal Measles vaccine still effective if given to infants under nine months old
A first vaccination dose against measles is a safe and somewhat effective option if given to infants earlier than usual, and before the age of nine months. However, vaccine effectiveness does increase when administered at older ages, as currently. Two doses of measles-containing vaccines are recommended as part of a childhood immunisation programme. In countries with ongoing measles transmission, the first dose (MCV1) is recommended at nine months. In the UK, the MCV1 is recommended at 12 month...
NIHR Signal Whole-school programme can have a small effect on reducing bullying in secondary schools
An anti-bullying intervention trialled at 20 UK secondary schools resulted in a reduction in bullying incidents at school. The ‘Learning Together’ initiative was funded by the NIHR and designed to modify the school environment and provide social and emotional support. The trial took place over three years and involved around 3,000 pupils who were 11 to 12 years old at the start of the study. A control group of schools which did not receive the intervention was monitored for comparis...
NIHR Signal Uptake of shingles vaccination is more likely if proactively offered in primary care
The shingles vaccination programme is intended for people aged between 70 and 80 years, but uptake in this group has been low. This survey found that people were more likely to have had the vaccine if it was proactively offered by a GP or nurse. The survey was completed by 536 individuals born in 1934 and 1935, from 69 UK general practices. It found vaccination less likely in people who had already had shingles, who believed they had control of the disease or had perceived barriers to vaccinati...
NIHR Signal Twenty mph speed zones reduce the danger to pedestrians and cyclists
Introducing 20mph speed zones reduces road traffic accidents, including those suffered by pedestrians and cyclists. Speed zones use physical obstacles such as road narrowing, speed bumps and chicanes, whereas speed limits only use signs and lines. The evidence was inconclusive on whether limiting speed to 20mph alone was effective, without the traffic calming. There was scant evidence on whether either speed reduction intervention was linked to increased activity such as walking or cycling. Th...
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 workplace voucher reward scheme failed to boost physical activity
Staff enrolled on a workplace reward scheme to encourage them to become more physically active took fewer steps per day than their colleagues in the control group after six months. Employees at two public sector organisations in Northern Ireland took part in the Physical Activity Loyalty scheme, which worked in a similar way to a high street loyalty card. Their activity levels during the workday were monitored using key fobs and remote sensors. The participants were rewarded for physical activi...
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