Podcasts from The Cochrane Library
Strange as it might seem at first, trials can help people who volunteer to take part but then don’t actually join the study. Helen McNaught from Cambridge in England tells us her story, and how it changed her life.
One of the major challenges facing researchers doing trials is maintaining the momentum for recruitment. Valerie Smith a research midwife from the Health Research Board’s Trial Methodology Research Network in Ireland, tells us about one of her strategies, based on the power of tea.
The organisation of clinical trials is a challenge in its own right and a variety of types of research can help find the most appropriate ways to ensure that trials succeed. In this Evidence Pod, Helen McAneney, a Lecturer in Research Methodology in the Northern Ireland Network for Trials Methodology Research, in Queen’s University Belfast describes how network analysis might help.
If trials are to change lives, their findings need to focus on the outcomes that really matter to people making decisions about health and social care. One of the ways to do this is through the use of core outcome sets that should be used across all trials in a particular area of health. The COMET Initiative is helping to support this, and Liz Gargon from the University of Liverpool in the UK updates us on their work.
One of the ways in which trials might change lives is by including their results in systematic reviews. When this happens, we still need to know the best way to present this information to decision makers. Lisa Maguire from Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland tells us about a study that investigated this.
Successful trials require input from a wide range of people, beyond those who designed and are running the research. Patients and their practitioners are key and, in some cases, the parents or the carers of the patient might also be vital to helping the trial to change lives. Heather Bagley from Manchester, whose son has autism tells us their story.
As the population ages, the number of people with chronic conditions is ever increasing. Angela Coulter from the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford in the UK, and colleagues are looking at ways to help such patients have more say in their own health care. She describes the findings from their March 2015 Cochrane Review in this Evidence Pod.
Alongside Cochrane Reviews that try to identify effective interventions are some that try to find ways to ensure that effective interventions are implemented. At the end of March 2015, Jennifer Petkovic from the Bruyère Research Institute at the University of Ottawa in Canada, and colleagues, published one such new Cochrane Review. It looks at how to increase the use of insecticide-treated bednets for the prevention of malaria. Jordi Pardo Pardo from Cochrane Canada spoke to her about the review.
In some areas of health care, we use a treatment for one condition to try to help people with something else. One example is the use of anti-malaria treatments for children with anaemia and the evidence for this was examined in a new Cochrane Review in January 2015. Anke Rohwer from the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care at Stellenbosch University in South Africa describes the rationale and the findings in this Evidence Pod.
Whether hormone therapy is, on balance, beneficial or harmful for post-menopausal women has been debated and investigated for some time. In the March 2015 update to the Cochrane Review of the effects on cardiovascular disease, Henry Boardman from the University of Oxford in the UK, and colleagues bring together the findings from 19 randomised trials. He tells us what they found in this Evidence Pod.
Obesity is widely recognised as a substantial issue for public health and Cochrane Reviews investigate a variety of interventions. In August 2014, Jill Colquitt from Effective Evidence in the UK, formally from Southampton Health Technology Assessments Centre, and colleagues updated their review of surgery, and she describes their findings in this podcast.
Many children suffer from the ear infection, acute otitis media, and a March 2015 Cochrane Review looks at the evidence on whether the influenza vaccine might prevent it. The lead author, Norhayati Mohd Noor from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia describes their findings.
As well as looking at the potential benefits of treatments for particular illnesses, Cochrane Reviews also examine ways to reduce the problems that might be caused by those treatments. One such new review in February 2015 brings together the evidence on whether chewing gum helps the digestive system recover following surgery, and lead author Vaneesha Short from the NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Nutrition, Diet and Lifestyle in Bristol in the UK tells us more.
Protocolized versus non-protocolized weaning for reducing the duration of mechanical ventilation in critically ill adult patients
In the November 2014 issue of the Cochrane Library, Bronagh Blackwood from Queen's University Belfast and colleagues updated their Cochrane Review of one of the ways to manage the care of patients in intensive care units. Mike Clarke, our Podcast Editor, spoke with Bronagh about her review.
Smoking remains a substantial public health problem around the world and the search for effective ways to help people stop is ongoing. Nicola Lindson-Hawley, Tom Thompson and Rachna Begh from the Universities of Oxford and Plymouth updated the Cochrane Review of motivational interviewing in March 2015, and Nicola (left) and Rachna describe the findings, starting with Rachna.
Most people would probably benefit from increasing the amount of physical activity that they do and one way to achieve this might be reducing the amount of time we spend sitting down at work. A new Cochrane Review from January 2015 looks at interventions that might help with this and lead author, Nipun Shrestha from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, tells us more.
Vitiligo is a common skin disease affecting about 1% of the world's children and adults. The evidence for a wide range of treatments has been brought together in an updated Cochrane Review produced in February 2015. The review was carried out by Maxine Whitton from the Cochrane Skin Group at the University of Nottingham in the UK and colleagues. She describes the condition and their work and findings in this podcast.
Diabetic macular oedema is a common complication of diabetes, in which damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye leads to swelling. Lasers have been used for some time to treat this but an alternative approach might be antiangiogenic therapy with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor. In October 2014, Gianni Virgili from the University of Florence in Italy, and colleagues, updated the review of the effects of these drugs.
Age-related macular degeneration is a major course of vision problems but recent years have seen the arrival of treatments that might not only slow vision loss, but reverse it. Sharon Solomon from the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine located in Baltimore USA describes the findings from the August 2014 update of the Cochrane Review examining the effects of a class of drugs that might help, the anti-vascular endothelial growth factors.
Pregnant women with epilepsy need reliable information about the possible effects of antiepileptic drugs on their baby. Rebecca Bromley from the Institute of Human Development at the University of Manchester in the UK and others brought together the relevant research evidence in a new Cochrane Review in October 2014. She describes what they found.