Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

BMJ, 12 August 2015

This paper aims to systematically review associations between intake of saturated fat and trans unsaturated fat and all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated mortality, coronary heart disease (CHD) and associated mortality, ischemic stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

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Interventions for drug-using offenders with co-occurring mental illness

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, June 2015

This is an updated version of an original Cochrane review published in Issue 3 2006 (Perry 2006). The review represents one from a family of four reviews focusing on interventions for drug-using offenders. This specific review considers interventions aimed at reducing drug use or criminal activity, or both for drug-using offenders with co-occurring mental illness.  The review aims to assess the effectiveness of interventions for drug-using offenders with co-occurring mental illness in reducing criminal activity or drug use, or both.

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The knowledge system underpinning healthcare is not fit for purpose and must change

BMJ, 3 June 2015

Information on the effectiveness and safety of healthcare should be valid, precise, up to date, clear, and freely available. Currently none of these criteria are fully satisfied, and Cochrane systematic reviews are not the solution. In this article the authors explain why the knowledge system for healthcare is unfit for purpose and suggest how it should change.

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Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) for the diagnosis of dementia within a secondary care setting

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, March 2015

This Cochrane Review seeks to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) which is a questionnaire instrument designed to assess change in functional performance secondary to cognitive change and is used to detect dementia in adults presenting to secondary care services.

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Social inequalities in early childhood health and development: a European-wide systematic review

UCL Institute of Health Equity, March 2015

As part of the DRIVERS project this paper examines health inequalities in relation to early childhood health and development in order to discern the causes of social inequalities. The study aims to:

1. To conduct a systematic review on social inequalities, early child development and early child health;
2. To analyse and develop methodologies for interventions regarding unequal child development and health;
3. To provide analytic evidence using data from WHO-Europe member countries that helps to explain social inequalities in early child development and early child health, and identifies factors that would reduce health inequalities across the European region.

The paper examines available evidence in order to make recommendations for policy and practice.

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Case management approaches to home support for people with dementia

Cochrane Review, January 2015

This Cocrane Review aims to evaluate the effectiveness of case management approaches to home support for people with dementia, from the perspective of the different people involved (patients, carers, and staff) compared with other forms of treatment, including ‘treatment as usual’, standard community treatment and other non-case management interventions.

The review concludes that there is some evidence that case management is beneficial at improving some outcomes at certain time points, both in the person with dementia and in their carer. However, there was considerable heterogeneity between the interventions, outcomes measured and time points across the 13 included RCTs. There was some evidence from good-quality studies to suggest that admissions to care homes and overall healthcare costs are reduced in the medium term; however, the results at longer points of follow-up were uncertain. There was not enough evidence to clearly assess whether case management could delay institutionalisation in care homes. There were uncertain results in patient depression, functional abilities and cognition. Further work should be undertaken to investigate what components of case management are associated with improvement in outcomes. Increased consistency in measures of outcome would support future meta-analysis.

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