New reviews

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

Call to focus on risks of medication errors in the home

Medication errors are commonly made by carers in the home setting, a new reviews shows, with researchers saying that the findings highlight the need to develop patient safety interventions for home care. The systematic review covered 36 papers, 33 of which involved parents caring for children, and the others focusing … Continue reading

Review reveals high rate of undetected dementia

More than 60% of people with dementia are not detected in the community or in nursing homes, according to a review that suggests efforts such as targeted screening are needed to improve early diagnosis of the condition. The systematic review and meta-analysis covered 23 studies reporting under-detection of dementia in … Continue reading

Interventions to cut inappropriate antibiotic use in hospitals do work

The jury is in: interventions to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in hospitals are successful, despite the fact that most don’t use the most effective behaviour change techniques. A Cochrane review covering 221 studies looked at the effectiveness and safety of a wide range of interventions to help physicians prescribe antibiotics … Continue reading

Do medications reduce weight in obese children?

Pharmacological interventions may have small effects in reducing weight in obese children and adolescents, but many of the medications that have been trialled are not licensed for use in children, a Cochrane review finds. The review, which is part of a series of associated Cochrane reviews on interventions for obese … Continue reading

Review reveals discrepancies in work disability assessments

There are wide variations in health professionals’ judgement when assessing claimants for work disability benefits, despite their common use and far-reaching consequences for workers claiming disabling injury or illness, a new review shows. Social and private disability insurers rely on medical experts to evaluate claimants with impaired health to determine … Continue reading

Automated telephone systems promising for preventive health

Automated telephone communications systems (ATCS), such as those that leave voice messages for targeted populations, show promise in areas such as immunisation, screening, appointment attendance and adherence to medication and tests, a Cochrane review finds. The review looked at the impact of ATCS which send voice messages and collect health … Continue reading

Childhood pneumococcal vax programs protect adults too

Childhood pneumococcal vaccination programs lead to substantial protection from the disease across the whole population within a decade through herd immunity, according to a new review that suggests comprehensive childhood programs might eliminate the need for vaccination programs for older age groups. The systematic review and meta-analysis covered data on invasive … Continue reading