New reviews

Early interventions to promote babies’ wellbeing: What works?

Education and support programs for parents delivered during pregnancy and the first postpartum year can improve both parenting and babies’ wellbeing and development, a new NHMRC evidence review suggests. The Report on the Evidence: Promoting social and emotional development and wellbeing of infants in pregnancy and the first year of … Continue reading

Evidence backs plain packaging tobacco strategy

Plain packaging of cigarettes may reduce the number of people who smoke, according to a new review of the evidence. The Cochrane Review analysed 51 studies of standardised packaging, involving about 800,000 participants, which each analysed different factors such as how packs may affect overall smoking levels, quit attempts, number … Continue reading

Can media campaigns impact health policy?

Media campaigns aimed at influencing health policy making can have a range of positive effects, but there is a risk such interventions can backfire and have negative impacts, a new review suggests. The researchers said the media could contribute to various areas of policy making, including setting the agenda, influencing … Continue reading

Evidence stacks up on workforce strategies

There is sufficient evidence to support a range of strategies to improve the quantity, quality, stability and longevity of the rural and remote health workforce in Aboriginal communities that should be considered by policy makers and funders, a new review finds. The researchers from the University of Sydney reviewed 26 papers, with … Continue reading

Schizophrenia mortality gap highlighted

People with schizophrenia lose 13-15 years of potential life, according to a new review that suggests interventions to reduce the mortality gap are urgently needed. The researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis covering 11 studies, and involving 247,603 patients with schizophrenia worldwide, to estimate years of potential life lost … Continue reading

Indigenous-led alcohol policies effective

Indigenous-led alcohol policies developed by communities to control alcohol use can be effective in improving health and social outcomes, a global systematic review suggests. The researchers said Indigenous communities across the world were disproportionately affected by harmful alcohol use, which cast doubt over whether measures to control alcohol supply were effective … Continue reading

Every $1 public health spend returns extra $14

The value of public health programs has been quantified by a new review, which shows that every $1 spent on interventions returns an extra $14 on the original investment. The UK researchers conducted a systematic review of studies that calculated the return on investment (ROI) for local and national initiatives, as … Continue reading

How do food taxes and subsidies impact diets?

Food price subsidies can be an effective way of increasing the consumption of healthy foods, while introducing taxes on unhealthy foods can successfully cut consumption, a new systematic review suggests. The researchers reviewed 30 studies (23 interventional studies and seven prospective cohorts) looking at the effect of changes in the … Continue reading

Organised support boosts breastfeeding

Providing women with extra organised support helps them breastfeed their babies for longer, a new Cochrane review shows. The researchers updated an earlier review into whether breastfeeding support from health professionals including midwives, nurses and doctors, or from trained lay workers such as community health workers, would help mothers to … Continue reading

Do schemes to “prescribe” physical activity work?

Schemes that provide prescriptions for people to undertake physical activity are most effective when specific groups are targeted, and when they run for longer periods, a review finds. The researchers reviewed 37 studies conducted in 11 countries, investigating physical activity on prescription (PARS) health promotion programs which involve health professionals … Continue reading