Podcasts from The Cochrane Library
Up to 70 million people worldwide have epilepsy and there are many Cochrane Reviews of ways to treat it. These include reviews that work with the original researchers to gather data on everyone who was in their studies, to perform individual participant data meta-analyses. In November 2016, Sarah Nolan and colleagues from the University of Liverpool in the UK updated one of these reviews, comparing two commonly used drugs, lamotrigine and carbamazepine.
Venous thromboembolism is a common condition with potentially serious and life-threatening consequences, and several reviews from the Cochrane Vascular Group look at the evidence on interventions to prevent or treat it. In an updated review in October 2016, Yanzhi Song from Fudan University in Shanghai China and colleagues brought together the evidence on the use of pentasaccharides to prevent venous thromboembolism. We asked Yanzhi to tell us what they found.
Government regulation, training, or co-ordination of private for-profit health care in low- and middle-income countries
Alongside the thousands of Cochrane Reviews of the effects of treatments, are some that look at the effectiveness of different ways of organising and paying for health care. In a new Cochrane review from August 2016, Charles Wiysonge from the Cochrane South Africa at the South African Medical Research Council in South Africa and colleagues examined the evidence for public stewardship of private for-profit healthcare providers in low- and middle-income countries. He tells us what they found in this podcast.
Pulmonary rehabilitation for people who have been in hospital with an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
In many parts of the world, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the second most common respiratory illness after asthma, and exacerbations and hospitalisations represent a major health burden for patients and healthcare systems. In an updated Cochrane Review from December 2016, Milo Puhan from the University of Zurich in Switzerland and colleagues have examined the latest evidence on the possible role for pulmonary rehabilitation following these exacerbations. Milo tells us what they found in this podcast.
Integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) strategy for children younger than five years of age
Alongside the thousands of Cochrane Reviews of drugs and other individual treatments are some that investigate the effects of packages of care. One such review was published for the first time in June 2016, assessing strategies intended to integrate the management of childhood illness. We asked lead author, Tarun Gera, from SL Jain Hospital in New Delhi, India to tell us why the review is so important and what it found.
School-based interventions for preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy in adolescents
The sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and young people is important both for them as they enter adult life and for the next generation. School-based interventions can help with this and an updated Cochrane Review from November 2016 brings together the evidence. Lead author, Amanda Mason-Jones from the University of York in the UK, tells us what she and her colleagues have found.
The Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group oversees the reviews of interventions to help people with alcohol and other drug problems. In February 2017, their review of the use of buprenorphine for managing opioid withdrawal was updated by Linda Gowing from the University of Adelaide in Australia and her colleagues. Linda describes the latest findings in this podcast.
The Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group oversees the reviews of interventions to help people with alcohol and other drug problems. In May 2016, their review of the use of alpha two adrenergic agonists for managing opioid withdrawal was updated by Linda Gowing from the University of Adelaide in Australia and her colleagues. Linda describes the latest findings in this podcast.
Pneumonia is an especially serious problem for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and it’s important to know if vaccination can prevent it. In an updated Cochrane Review from January 2017, Julia Walters from the Cochrane Airways Group in Australia and her colleagues have reviewed the latest evidence and she tells us what they found in this podcast.
Renal vasculitis causes damage to the small blood vessels inside the kidneys and – when untreated – leads to a rapid loss of kidney function. Therapies that block the immune system to switch off the vasculitis process are available but can lead to serious infections and other long term complications. As vasculitis is uncommon, it has been difficult to establish the most effective and safest treatment, because studies have often been too small to detect these effects reliably. One way to try to overcome this, is to combine the results of similar studies and, in September 2015, Giles Walters and his colleagues in Australia did this by updating the Cochrane Review of studies of treatments to induce and maintain disease remission for renal vasculitis. Giles tells us what they found in this podcast.
Topical antibiotics (applied to the skin) for preventing surgical site infection in wounds that are stitched or held together another way
One of the complications after surgery, is that the patient might develop an infection at the site of the wound. Clare Heal from the James Cook University in Mackay in Australia and colleagues have investigated the effects of applying antibiotics to the skin to prevent this in a new Cochrane Review, published in November 2016. She tells us what they found in this podcast.
Eczema is a common chronic skin disease that affects many people worldwide, and they will often turn to creams to help. In a new Cochrane Review from February 2017, Zbys Fedorowicz from Cochrane Bahrain and colleagues have brought together the relevant evidence from nearly 80 trials and we asked him to describe their findings.
Early administration of inhaled corticosteroids for preventing chronic lung disease in very low birth weight preterm neonates
Babies who are born preterm or have very low birth weight struggle to survive and need intensive care. Even if they do survive, they are at high risk of chronic lung disease and corticosteroids are one of the treatments used to prevent this. In an updated Cochrane Review from January 2017, Vibhuti Shah from the University of Toronto in Canada and colleagues have reviewed the latest evidence on the use of inhaled corticosteroids and tells us about it in this podcast.
It is generally recommended that babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, but most are given some additional fluids or foods during this period. In August 2016, Hazel Smith from Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Dublin and Genevieve Becker from BEST services in Galway in Ireland updated the Cochrane Review of the randomised trials and we asked Hazel to tell us about their current findings in this podcast.
Do tobacco cessation interventions provided during substance abuse treatment or recovery help tobacco users to quit?
Several dozen Cochrane Reviews examine the effects of methods to help people quit smoking. A new review in November 2016 adds to this evidence by considering interventions targeted at people with substance use disorders. We asked lead author, Dorie Apollonio from the University of California San Francisco in the USA, to tell us what they found in this podcast.
There is considerable interest in detecting vesicoureteral reflux in children, a condition in which urine can flow backwards from the bladder to the kidney, and cause kidney damage. It can be diagnosed with a test called a voiding cystourethrogram, but this is invasive and exposes children to x-rays. It’s important therefore to find other accurate methods and a new Cochrane Review from July 2016 evaluated two possible alternative imaging tests as ways to identify children who have vesicoureteral reflux and are at higher risks of long-term kidney damage, but with less discomfort and radiation than a voiding cystourethrogram. The review was done by Dr. Nader Shaikh and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the USA. In this evidence pod, his colleague, Dr Stephanie Hum tells us what they found.
As the number of systematic reviews grows, there is an increasing need for overviews in which the findings from multiple reviews in the same general area is brought together. This happened for symptomatic treatments for motor neurone disease in January 2017 and lead author on this new Cochrane Overview, Louisa Ng from the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia spoke with Brian Dickie from the UK Motor Neurone Disease Association about the evidence.
Several reviews from the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group present evidence on ways to help mothers to breast feed their babies. In the latest version of one of these, in February 2017, Alison McFadden from the University of Dundee in Scotland and her co-authors present the latest evidence and we asked her to update us in this podcast.
Cochrane has several systematic reviews about the management of patients in intensive care units, covering a wide range of interventions, and the update of one of these in October 2016 brought together the latest evidence on the effects of oral hygiene care. Helen Worthington, one of the authors on the review and Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Oral Health Group at the University of Manchester in the UK tells us more.
Antibiotics are a mainstay of hospital care, widely used to treat bacterial infections, such as pneumonia. However amidst increasing concerns about antibiotic resistance, it’s important to ensure that they are prescribed carefully. In February 2017, Peter Davey from the University of Dundee in the UK and colleagues updated their Cochrane Review of interventions to help with this and he tells us more in this Evidence Pod.