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Article
Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis is a condition characterised by benign papillomatous (wart-like) growths in the upper airway. It can affect both adults and children causing airway-obstruction and voice change. Treatment usually involves repeated surgical debulking of the papillomata, and several agents have been proposed as adjuvants to surgical debulking. These include antivirals, administered systemically or injected into the lesions. To assess the effectiveness of antiviral agents as adjuvant therapy in the management of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis in children and adults. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2004), MEDLINE (January 1966 to November 2004), and EMBASE (January 1985 to November 2004) in December 2004. We checked reference lists of articles, contacted pharmaceutical companies and contacted leading experts in the field for further studies. All randomised controlled trials. One hundred references were identified from the searches. Twenty-five were appropriate for retrieval and assessed for eligibility by the authors. None met the inclusion criteria. No controlled trials were identified. There was insufficient evidence from controlled trials on which to base reliable conclusions about the effectiveness of antiviral agents as adjuvant therapy in the management of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Further research is required before any specific antiviral adjuvant therapy can be recommended.
 
Article
Although existing trial data indicated some benefit of rivastigmine in VCI, these were derived from studies which had small numbers of patients, and which compared rivastigmine to treatments other than placebo or extrapolated results post hoc from large studies involving patients with Alzheimer's disease and vascular risk factors of unclear significance. They could not be included in this review. Proper randomized placebo-controlled double-blind trials involving patients with VCI are needed before any conclusions regarding the use of rivastigmine in VCI can be drawn.
 
Article
Background: Pneumonia is an important cause of mortality in intensive care units (ICUs). The incidence of pneumonia in ICU patients ranges between 7% and 40%, and the crude mortality from ventilator-associated pneumonia may exceed 50%. Although not all deaths in patients with this form of pneumonia are directly attributable to pneumonia, it has been shown to contribute to mortality in ICUs independently of other factors that are also strongly associated with such deaths. Objectives: To assess the effects of prophylactic antibiotic regimens, such as selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD) for the prevention of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and overall mortality in adults receiving intensive care. Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2009, issue 1), which contains the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) Group's Specialised Register; MEDLINE (January 1966 to March 2009); and EMBASE (January 1990 to March 2009). Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of antibiotic prophylaxis for RTIs and deaths among adult ICU patients. Data collection and analysis: At least two review authors independently extracted data and assessed trial quality. Main results: We included 36 trials involving 6914 people. There was variation in the antibiotics used, patient characteristics and risk of RTIs and mortality in the control groups. In trials comparing a combination of topical and systemic antibiotics, there was a significant reduction in both RTIs (number of studies = 16, odds ratio (OR) 0.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.20 to 0.38) and total mortality (number of studies = 17, OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.87) in the treated group. In trials comparing topical antimicrobials alone (or comparing topical plus systemic versus systemic alone) there was a significant reduction in RTIs (number of studies = 17, OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.63) but not in total mortality (number of studies = 19, OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.16) in the treated group. Authors' conclusions: A combination of topical and systemic prophylactic antibiotics reduces RTIs and overall mortality in adult patients receiving intensive care. Treatment based on the use of topical prophylaxis alone reduces respiratory infections but not mortality. The risk of resistance occurring as a negative consequence of antibiotic use was appropriately explored only in one trial which did not show any such effect.
 
Article
Background: Corticosteroids have been used late in the neonatal period to treat chronic lung disease (CLD) in preterm babies and early to try to prevent it. CLD is likely to be the result of persisting inflammation in the lung and the use of powerful anti-inflammatory drugs like dexamethasone has some rationale. Early use tends to be associated with increased adverse effects so that studies of moderately early treatment (7-14 days postnatal) might have the dual benefits of fewer side effects and onset of action before chronic inflammation is established. Objectives: To determine if moderately early (7-14 days) postnatal corticosteroid treatment vs control (placebo or nothing) is of benefit in the prevention and/or treatment of early chronic lung disease in the preterm infant. Search strategy: Randomised controlled trials of postnatal corticosteroid therapy were sought from the Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials, Cochrane Database of Controlled Trials, Medline, hand searching paediatric and perinatal journals, examining previous review articles and information received from practising neonatologists. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials of postnatal corticosteroid treatment from 7-14 days of birth in high risk preterm infants were selected for this review. Data collection and analysis: Data regarding clinical outcomes including mortality up to 28 days and before discharge, failure to extubate, mortality or chronic lung disease at 28 days and 36 weeks, CLD at 28 days and 36 weeks, infection, hyperglycaemia, hypertension, severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), pneumothorax, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), gastrointestinal bleeding, severe intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, late rescue with dexamethasone and abnormal neurological examination at follow-up were abstracted and analysed using RevMan 4.1. Main results: Moderately early steroid treatment (vs placebo or nothing) reduced mortality by 28 days, chronic lung disease at 28 days and 36 weeks, and death or chronic lung disease at 28 days or 36 weeks. Earlier extubation was facilitated. There was no significant effect on the rates of pneumothorax, severe ROP, and NEC. Adverse effects included hypertension, hyperglycaemia, gastrointestinal bleeding, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and infection. Steroid-treated infants were less likely to need late rescue with dexamethasone. There was only one small study of longterm follow-up and it did not show any increase in adverse neurological outcome. Reviewer's conclusions: Moderately early corticosteroid therapy (started at 7-14 days) reduces neonatal mortality and CLD, but at the cost of important short term adverse effects. No reliable evidence concerning long term effects is provided by the trials included in this review. In view of the evidence of an important increase in cerebral palsy and other adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes from trials in which postnatal steroids were begun either earlier or later than 7-14 days, there are reasonable grounds for extending this concern to moderately early initiation of steroid therapy. More research is urgently needed, including long term follow-up of survivors included in previous and any future trials, before the benefits and risks of postnatal steroid treatment, including initiation at 7-14 days, can be reliably assessed (See DART study; ~~ Doyle 2000~~).
 
Article
Most premature infants less than 1500 grams birth weight must be fed initially by tube because of their inablity to suck effectively, or to coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing. Milk feedings can be given by tube either intermittently, typically over 10-20 minutes every two or three hours, or continuously, using an infusion pump. Although theoretical benefits and risks of each method have been proposed, effects on clinically important outcomes remain uncertain. To examine the evidence from randomized trials regarding the effectiveness of continuous versus intermittent bolus nasogastric milk feeding in premature infants less than 1500 grams. The primary outcomes reviewed included feeding tolerance, days to reach full enteral feeding, somatic growth, days to discharge and incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Searches were performed of MEDLINE, CINAHL, and HealthSTAR, each up to February 2002, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (The Cochrane Library, Issue 1, 2002). As well, studies identified from abstracts and conference proceedings and references from relevant publications were retrieved. Randomized and quasi-randomized clinical trials that met the following criteria for relevance: a) Enrollment of infants < 1500 grams birth weight with no major congenital anomalies which might interfere with feeding tolerance b) Comparison of continuous nasogastric versus intermittent bolus tube feedings using breastmilk or formula c) Assessment of relevant outcomes including feeding tolerance, days to full feeds, somatic growth, days to discharge, and complications such as NEC or apnea All articles retrieved from the complete search were assessed independently by the two reviewers for relevance (see selection criteria), and for methodologic quality using the following criteria: blinding of randomization, blinding of intervention, complete follow-up and blinding of outcome measurement. Only those articles judged by both reviewers to be relevant and to have appropriate methodologic quality were included in the analysis. Differences were resolved through discussion and consensus of the reviewers. Infants fed by continuous tube feeding method took longer to reach full enteral feeds (weighted mean difference 3.0 days; 95% CI 0.7, 5.2). Although there was no evidence of a difference in the days to discharge overall, one study suggested a trend toward earlier discharge for infants less than 1000 grams birth weight fed by the continuous tube feeding method (mean difference (MD) -11 days; 95% CI -21.8, -0.2). Overall, there was no evidence of a difference in somatic growth (weight, length, head circumference or skinfold thickness) between the two groups, but subgroup analyses in one study suggested that infants less than 1000 grams and 1000 - 1250 grams birthweight gained weight faster when fed by the continuous tube feeding method (MD 2.0 g/day; 95% CI 0.5, 3.5; MD 2.0 g/day; 95% CI 0.2, 3.8, respectively). There was no evidence of a difference in the incidence of NEC. One study showed a trend toward more apneas during the study period in infants fed by the continuous tube feeding method (MD 14.0 apneas during study period; 95% CI -0.2, 28.2). Infants fed by the continuous tube feeding method took longer to reach full feeds, but there was no significant difference in somatic growth, days to discharge, or the incidence of NEC for infants fed by continuous versus intermittent bolus tube feeds. Small sample sizes, methodologic limitations and conflicting results of the studies to date, together with inconsistencies in controlling variables that may affect outcomes, make it difficult to make universal recommendations regarding the best tube feeding method for premature infants less than 1500 grams. The clinical benefits and risks of continuous versus intermittent nasogastric tube milk feeding cannot be reliably discerned from the limited information available from randomized trials to date.
 
Article
There is no difference in time to achieve full feedings in low birth weight premature infants fed milk through a tube into the stomach either on a continuous basis or over 10 to 20 minutes every two to three hours. Premature infants born weighing less than 1500 grams are not able to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing. Feeding into the gastrointestinal tract (enteral feeding) helps with gastrointestinal tract development and growth. Therefore, in addition to feeding through a tube into a vein (parenterally), premature infants may be fed milk through a tube placed either up their nose and into the stomach (nasogastric feeding) or through their mouth and into the stomach (orogastric feeding). Usually a set amount of milk is given over 10 to 20 minutes every two to three hours (intermittent bolus gavage feeding). Some clinicians prefer to feed premature infants continuously. Each feeding method has beneficial effects (e.g., achieve full feedings sooner) but can also have harmful effects (destructive inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract or necrotizing enterocolitis. There was no difference in time to achieve full feedings between feeding methods regardless of tube placement. Reports of the incidence of destructive inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (necrotizing enterocolitis) were similar. However, there is not enough evidence to determine the best feeding method for low birth weight premature infants. More research is required in this area.
 
Article
Colorectal cancer metastatic to the liver, when technically feasible, is resected with a moderate chance of cure. The most common site of failure after resection is within the remaining liver. With this pattern of clinical failure in mind and in order to enhance survival, chemotherapy has been delivered directly to the liver post resection via the hepatic artery. To assess the effect of post hepatic resection hepatic artery chemotherapy on overall survival. Secondary objectives include adverse events related to the chemotherapy, the risk of intra-hepatic tumour recurrence and tumour free survival. Randomised trials were sought in MEDLINE; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials; the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register; and through contact of trial authors and reference lists using key words: Colorectal, cancer, hepatic metastases, hepatic artery, chemotherapy. Searches were performed in May, 2006. Trials in which patients having resection of colorectal cancer metastatic to the liver were randomised either to hepatic artery chemotherapy or any alternative treatment. Survival data were obtained principally from abstraction from survival curves in published studies using the method of Parmar. A study specific log hazard ratio and then combined effect log hazard ratio were calculated, as well as a combined Kaplan-Meier survival probability curve. Seven randomised trials addressed this issue, encompassing 592 patients. No significant advantage was found in the meta-analysis for hepatic artery chemotherapy measuring overall survival and calculating survival based upon "intention to treat" (lnHR = 0.0848; favouring the control group, 95% confidence interval = -0.1189 to 0.2885, or a Hazard Ratio of 1.089, an 8.9% survival advantage for the control group, 95% CI of the HR = 0.887-1.334). Adverse events related to the hepatic artery therapy were common, including five therapy related deaths. Intra-hepatic recurrence was more frequent in the control group (97 patients versus 43 in the HAI group), though denominators are not reported, and additional outcomes could not be subjected to a combined analysis. Though recurrence in the remaining liver happened less in the hepatic artery chemotherapy group, overall survival was not improved, and even favoured the control group, though not significantly. This added intervention cannot be recommended at this time.
 
Article
Youth gangs have long been studied in the United States and interest elsewhere is increasing. Many studies document a robust and consistent relationship between gang membership and elevated delinquency. One theory of gang involvement, drawing on anomie and strain theories, proposes that the gang provides a means of fulfilling the economic needs of youth excluded from legitimate labour markets. Opportunities provision is a gang prevention strategy based on this theory and the principle that providing youth with educational and employment opportunities may reduce gang involvement. Common techniques within opportunities provision include tutoring, remedial education, job training, and job placement. To determine the effectiveness of opportunities provision for preventing youth gang involvement for children and young people aged 7 to 16. Electronic searches were conducted of ASSIA, CINAHL, CJA, Cochrane Library, Dissertations Abstracts, EMBASE, ERIC, IBSS, LILACs, LexisNexis Butterworths, MEDLINE, NCJR Service Abstracts Database, PsycINFO, and Sociological Abstracts, to April 2007. Reviewers contacted relevant organisations, individuals and list-servs and searched pertinent websites and reference lists. All randomised controlled trials or quasi-randomised controlled trials of interventions that have opportunities provision as the majority component, delivered to children and youths aged 7 to 16 not involved in a gang, compared to any other or no intervention. Searches yielded 2,696 unduplicated citations. 2,676 were excluded based on title and abstract. Two were excluded based on personal communication with study authors. Full-text reports for 18 citations were retrieved. 16 were excluded because they were not evaluations, did not address a gang prevention programme, did not include gang-related outcomes, did not include opportunities provision intervention components, or presented preliminary findings for outcomes reported in another citation. The remaining two reports were at least partially relevant to opportunities provision for gang prevention, but methodological flaws excluded both from analysis. No randomised controlled trials or quasi-randomised controlled trials were identified. No evidence from randomised controlled trials or quasi-randomised controlled trials currently exists regarding the effectiveness of opportunities provision for gang prevention. Only two studies addressed opportunities provision as a gang prevention strategy, a case study and a qualitative study, both of which had such substantial methodological limitations that even speculative conclusions as to the impact of opportunities provision were impossible. Rigorous primary evaluations of gang prevention strategies are crucial to develop this research field, justify funding of existing interventions, and guide future gang prevention programmes and policies.
 
Article
Background: Extensive evidence exists showing analgesic effects of sweet solutions for newborns and infants. It is less certain if the same analgesic effects exist for children one year to 16 years of age. This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review published in Issue 10, 2011 (Harrison 2011) titled Sweet tasting solutions for reduction of needle-related procedural pain in children aged one to 16 years. Objectives: To determine the efficacy of sweet tasting solutions or substances for reducing needle-related procedural pain in children beyond one year of age. Search methods: Searches were run to the end of June 2014. We searched the following databases: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), Cochrane Methodology Register, Health Technology Assessment, the NHS Economic Evaluation Database, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and ACP Journal Club (all via OvidSP), and CINAH (via EBSCOhost). We applied no language restrictions. Selection criteria: Published or unpublished randomised controlled trials (RCT) in which children aged one year to 16 years, received a sweet tasting solution or substance for needle-related procedural pain. Control conditions included water, non-sweet tasting substances, pacifier, distraction, positioning/containment, breastfeeding, or no treatment. Data collection and analysis: Outcome measures included crying duration, composite pain scores, physiological or behavioral pain indicators, self-report of pain or parental or healthcare professional-report of the child's pain. We reported mean differences (MD), weighted mean difference (WMD), or standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) using fixed-effect or random-effects models as appropriate for continuous outcome measures. We reported risk ratio (RR), risk difference (RD), and the number needed to treat to benefit (NNTB) for dichotomous outcomes. We used the I(2) statistic to assess between-study heterogeneity. Main results: We included one unpublished and seven published studies (total of 808 participants); four more studies and 478 more participants than the 2011 review. Six trials included young children aged one to four years receiving sucrose or candy lollypops for immunisation pain compared with water or no treatment. Usual care included topical anaesthetics, upright parental holding, and distraction. All studies were well designed blinded RCTs, however, five of the six studies had a high risk of bias based on small sample sizes.Two studies included school-aged children receiving sweet or unsweetened chewing gum before, or before and during, immunisation and blood collection. Both studies, conducted by the same author, had a high risk of bias based on small sample sizes.Results for the toddlers/pre-school children were conflicting. Duration of cry, using a random-effects model, was not significantly reduced by sweet taste (six trials, 520 children, WMD -15 seconds, 95% CI -54 to 24, I(2) = 94%).Composite pain score at time of first needle was reported in four studies (n = 121 children). The scores were not significantly different between the sucrose and control group (SMD -0.26, 95% CI -1.27 to 0.75, I(2) = 86%).A Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Pain Scale score > 4 was significantly less common in the sucrose group compared to the control group in one study (n = 472, RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.67; RD -0.29, 95% CI -0.37 to -0.20; NNTB 3, 95% CI 3 to 5; tests for heterogeneity not applicable.For school-aged children, chewing sweet gum before needle-related painful procedures (two studies, n = 111 children) or during the procedures (two studies, n = 103 children) did not significantly reduce pain scores. A comparison of the Faces Pain Scale scores in children chewing sweet gum before the procedures compared with scores of children chewing unsweetened gum revealed a WMD of -0.15 (95% CI -0.61 to 0.30). Similar results were found when comparing the chewing of sweet gum with unsweetened gum during the procedure (WMD 0.23, 95% CI -0.28 to 0.74). The Colored Analogue Scale for children chewing sweet gum compared to unsweetened gum before the procedure was not significantly different (WMD 0.24 (-0.69 to 1.18)) nor was it different when children chewed the gum during the procedure (WMD 0.86 (95% CI -0.12 to 1.83)). There was no heterogeneity for any of these analyses in school-aged children (I(2) = 0%). Authors' conclusions: Based on the eight studies included in this systematic review update, two of which were subgroups of small numbers of eligible toddlers from larger studies, and three of which were pilot RCTs with small numbers of participants, there is insufficient evidence of the analgesic effects of sweet tasting solutions or substances during acutely painful procedures in young children between one and four years of age. Further rigorously conducted, adequately powered RCTs are warranted in this population. Based on the two studies by the same author, there was no evidence of analgesic effects of sweet taste in school-aged children. As there are other effective evidence-based strategies available to use in this age group, further trials are not warranted.Despite the addition of four studies in this review, conclusions have not changed since the last version of the review.
 
Article
Many studies document a robust and consistent relationship between gang membership and elevated delinquency, with gang members disproportionately involved in crime compared to non-gang peers. Research also indicates that both delinquent youth and youth who join gangs often show a wide range of deficient or distorted social-cognitive processes compared to non-delinquent peers. Cognitive-behavioural interventions are designed to address cognitive deficits in order to reduce maladaptive or dysfunctional behaviour, and studies have documented their positive impact on a number of behavioural and psychological disorders among children and youth. To determine the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural interventions for preventing youth gang involvement for children and young people (ages 7-16). Electronic searches of ASSIA, CINAHL, CJA, Cochrane Library, Dissertations Abstracts A, EMBASE, ERIC, IBSS, LILACs, LexisNexis Butterworths, MEDLINE, NCJR Service Abstracts Database, PsycINFO, and Sociological Abstracts, to April 2007. Reviewers contacted relevant organisations, individuals, and list-servs and searched pertinent websites and reference lists. All randomised controlled trials or quasi-randomised controlled trials of interventions with a cognitive-behavioural intervention as the majority component, delivered to youth and children aged 7-16 not involved in a gang. Searching yielded 2,284 unduplicated citations, 2,271 of which were excluded as irrelevant based on title and abstract. One was excluded following personal communication with investigators. One citation, of a large randomised prevention trial, awaits assessment; personal communication with study authors yielded unpublished reports addressing gang outcomes, but insufficient detail precluded determining inclusion status. Seven remaining reports were excluded as irrelevant because they were narrative reviews or descriptions of programs without evaluations, did not address a gang prevention programme, or did not address a gang prevention program that included a cognitive-behavioural intervention. The remaining four full-text reports excluded because of study design, leading to 0 included studies. No randomised controlled trials or quasi-randomised controlled trials were identified. No evidence from randomised controlled trials or quasi-randomised controlled trials exists regarding the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural interventions for gang prevention. Four evaluations of Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) have been conducted, two of which were part of a US national evaluation, but all were excluded based on study design. Reviewers conclude there is an urgent need for rigorous primary evaluations of cognitive-behavioural interventions for gang prevention to develop this research field and guide future gang prevention programmes and policies.
 
Article
BACKGROUND: Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is an intensive, home-based intervention for families of youth with social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Masters-level therapists engage family members in identifying and changing individual, family, and environmental factors thought to contribute to problem behavior. Intervention may include efforts to improve communication, parenting skills, peer relations, school performance, and social networks. Most MST trials were conducted by program developers in the USA; results of one independent trial are available and others are in progress.
 
Article
Conduct disorder and delinquency are significant problems for children and adolescents and their families, with the potential to consume much of the resources of the health, social care and juvenile justice systems. A number of family and parenting interventions have been recommended and are used for these conditions. The aim of this review was to determine if these interventions are effective in the management of conduct disorder and delinquency in children and adolescents, aged 10-17. To determine if family and parenting interventions improve the child/adolescent's behaviour; parenting and parental mental health; family functioning and relations; and have an effect on the long term psychosocial outcomes for the child/adolescent. Randomised controlled trials were identified through searching the Cochrane Controlled Trial Register (CCTR), databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Sociofile, ERIC, Healthstar), reference lists of articles and contact with authors. Randomised controlled trials with a major focus on parenting and/or family functioning were eligible for inclusion in the review. Trials needed to include at least one objective outcome measure (e.g. arrest rates) or have used a measure that had been published in peer review publications and validated for the relevant purpose. Studies were required to have a control group, which could be a no intervention group, a wait list group or a usual intervention group (e.g. probation). Trials in children and adolescents aged 10 to 17 years with conduct disorder and/or delinquency and their families were considered. Conduct disorder was defined by a standardised psychological assessment (for example, using a child behaviour checklist), or a psychiatric diagnosis. Delinquency was defined by a referral from a juvenile justice or another legal system for a child/adolescent who has committed a serious crime e.g assault and/or offended on at least two occasions. Two reviewers independently reviewed all eligible studies for inclusion, assessed study quality (allocation concealment, blinding, follow up, clinically important outcomes) and extracted data. Heterogeneity was assessed using the Chi squared test of heterogeneity along with visual inspection of the data. A significance level less than 0.1 was interpreted as evidence of statistically significant heterogeneity. For data where heterogeneity was found the reviewers looked for an explanation. If studies with heterogeneous results were thought to be comparable the statistical synthesis of the results was done using a random effects model. This model takes into account within-study sampling error and between-studies variation in the assessment of uncertainty and will give wider confidence intervals to the effect size and hence a more conservative result. Sensitivity analysis was performed to explore the effects of the varying quality of the studies included on the results. Of the nine hundred and seventy titles initially identified through the search strategy, eight trials met the inclusion criteria. A total of 749 children and their families were randomised to receive a family and parenting intervention or to be in a control group. In seven of these studies the participants were juvenile delinquents and their families and in only one the participants were children/adolescents with conduct disorder who had not yet had contact with the juvenile justice system. At follow up, family and parenting interventions significantly reduced the time spent by juvenile delinquents in institutions (WMD 51.34 days, 95%CI 72.52 to 30.16). There was also a significant reduction in the risk of a juvenile delinquent being re arrested (RR 0.66, 95%CI 0.44 to 0.98) and in their rate of subsequent arrests at 1-3 years (SMD -0.56, 95% CI -1.100 to - 0.03). For both of these outcomes there was substantial heterogeneity in the results suggesting a need for caution in interpretation. At present there is insufficient evidence that family and parenting interventions reduce the risk of being incarcerated (RR=0.50, 95% CI 0.20 to 1.21). No significant difference was found for psychosocial outcomes such as family functioning, and child/adolescent behaviour. The evidence suggests that family and parenting interventions for juvenile delinquents and their families have beneficial effects on reducing time spent in institutions. This has an obvious benefit to the participant and their family and may result in a cost saving for society. These interventions may also reduce rates of subsequent arrest but at present these results need to be interpreted with caution due to the heterogeneity of the results.
 
Article
There is a high and increasing prevalence of impairments among children and adolescents in the West. Many countries offer personal assistance in the form of individualised support for people living in the community by a paid assistant other than a healthcare professional for at least 20 hours per week. To assess the effectiveness of personal assistance for children and adolescents with physical impairments, and the impacts of personal assistance on others, compared to other interventions. Electronic databases including CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ERIC, Dissertation Abstracts International and a variety of specialist Swedish databases were searched from 1980 to June 2005; reference lists were checked; 345 experts, organisations, government bodies and charities were contacted in an attempt to locate relevant research. Children and adolescents with physical impairments (0-18 years) living in the community who require assistance to perform tasks of daily living (e.g., bathing and eating) and participate in normal activities due to permanent impairments. Controlled studies of personal assistance in which participants were prospectively assigned to study groups and in which control group outcomes were measured concurrently with intervention group outcomes were included. Titles and abstracts were examined by two reviewers. 130 full papers were examined. None met the inclusion criteria. No eligible studies were found. Research in this field is limited. When implementing new programmes, recipients could be randomly assigned to different forms of assistance. While advocates may support personal assistance for myriad reasons, this review demonstrates that further studies are required to determine which models of personal assistance are most effective and efficient for particular people.
 
Article
There is a high and increasing prevalence of intellectual impairments among children and adolescents in the West. Many countries offer personal assistance in the form of individualised support for people living in the community by a paid assistant other than a healthcare professional for at least 20 hours per week. To assess the effectiveness of personal assistance for children and adolescents with intellectual impairments, and the impacts of personal assistance on others, compared to other interventions. Electronic databases including CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ERIC, Dissertation Abstracts International and a variety of specialist Swedish databases were searched from 1980 to June 2005; reference lists were checked; 345 experts, organisations, government bodies and charities were contacted in an attempt to locate relevant research. Children and adolescents with intellectual impairments (0-18 years) living in the community who require assistance to perform tasks of daily living (e.g., bathing and eating) and participate in normal activities due to permanent impairments. Controlled studies of personal assistance in which participants were prospectively assigned to study groups and in which control group outcomes were measured concurrently with intervention group outcomes were included. Titles and abstracts were examined by two reviewers. Outcome data were extracted. Studies were assessed for the possibility of bias. Results and potential sources of bias are presented for included studies. One included study randomised 1002 participants to personal assistance or usual care. Whilst personal assistance was generally preferred over other services, some people prefer other models of care. This review indicates that personal assistance may have some benefits for some recipients and may benefit caregivers. However, near complete dependence on proxy respondents raises concerns about the validity of these results. Paid assistance probably substitutes for informal care and may cost government more than alternatives; however, the total costs to recipients and society are currently unknown. Research in this field is limited. When implementing new programmes, recipients could be randomly assigned to different forms of assistance. While advocates may support personal assistance for myriad reasons, this review demonstrates that further studies are required to determine which models of personal assistance are most effective and efficient for particular people.
 
Article
The World Health Organization estimates that 1.9 million deaths worldwide are attributable to physical inactivity. Chronic diseases associated with physical inactivity include cancer, diabetes and coronary heart disease. The purpose of this systematic review is to summarize the evidence of the effectiveness of school-based interventions in promoting physical activity and fitness in children and adolescents. The search strategy included searching several databases. In addition, reference lists of included articles and background papers were reviewed for potentially relevant studies, as well as references from relevant Cochrane reviews. Primary authors of included studies were contacted as needed for additional information. To be included, the intervention had to be relevant to public health practice, implemented, facilitated, or promoted by staff in local public health units, implemented in a school setting and aimed at increasing physical activity, report on outcomes for children and adolescents (aged 6 to 18 years), and use a prospective design with a control group. Standardized tools were used by two independent reviewers to rate each study's methodological quality and for data extraction. Where discrepancies existed discussion occurred until consensus was reached. The results were summarized narratively due to wide variations in the populations, interventions evaluated and outcomes measured. 13,841 titles were identified and screened and 482 articles were retrieved. Multiple publications on the same project were combined and counted as one project, resulting in 395 distinct project accounts (studies). Of the 395 studies 104 were deemed relevant and of those, four were assessed as having strong methodological quality, 22 were of moderate quality and 78 were considered weak. In total 26 studies were included in the review. There is good evidence that school-based physical activity interventions have a positive impact on four of the nine outcome measures. Specifically positive effects were observed for duration of physical activity, television viewing, VO2 max, and blood cholesterol. Generally school-based interventions had no effect on leisure time physical activity rates, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body mass index, and pulse rate. At a minimum, a combination of printed educational materials and changes to the school curriculum that promote physical activity result in positive effects. Given that there are no harmful effects and that there is some evidence of positive effects on lifestyle behaviours and physical health status measures, ongoing physical activity promotion in schools is recommended at this time.
 
Article
Background: A significant proportion of children have caries requiring restorations or extractions, and some of these children will not accept this treatment under local anaesthetic. Historically this has been managed in children by the use of a general anaesthetic, however use of sedation may lead to reduced morbidity and cost. The aim of this review is to compare the efficiency of sedation versus general anaesthesia for the provision of dental treatment for children and adolescents aged under 18 years.This review was originally published in 2009 and updated in 2012. Objectives: We evaluated the intra- and postoperative morbidity, effectiveness and cost effectiveness of sedation versus general anaesthesia for the provision of dental treatment for under 18 year olds. Search methods: In this updated review we searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 7); MEDLINE (Ovid) (1950 to July 2012); EMBASE (Ovid) (1974 to July 2012); System for information on Grey Literature in Europe (SIGLE) (1980 to October 2008), Latin American & Caribbean Health Sciences Literature (LILACS) (1982 to July 2012), and ISI Web of Science (1945 to October 2008). The searches were updated to July 2012. The original search was performed in October 2008.We also carried out handsearching of relevant journals to July 2012. We imposed no language restriction. Selection criteria: We planned to include randomized controlled clinical trials of sedative agents compared to general anaesthesia in children and adolescents aged up to 18 years having dental treatment. We excluded complex surgical procedures and pseudo-randomized trials. Data collection and analysis: Two authors assessed titles and abstracts for inclusion in the review. We recorded information relevant to the objectives and outcome measures in a specially designed 'data extraction form'. Main results: We identified 15 studies for potential inclusion after searching the available databases and screening the titles and abstracts. We identified a further study through personal contacts. Following full text retrieval of the studies, we found none to be eligible for inclusion in this review. Authors' conclusions: Randomized controlled studies are required comparing the use of dental general anaesthesia with sedation to quantify differences such as morbidity and cost.
 
Article
There is a high and increasing prevalence of impairments among children and adolescents in the West. Many countries offer personal assistance in the form of individualised support for people living in the community by a paid assistant other than a healthcare professional for at least 20 hours per week. To assess the effectiveness of personal assistance for children and adolescents with both physical and intellectual impairments, and the impacts of personal assistance on others, compared to other interventions. Electronic databases including CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ERIC, Dissertation Abstracts International and a variety of specialist Swedish databases were searched from 1980 to June 2005; reference lists were checked; 345 experts, organisations, government bodies and charities were contacted in an attempt to locate relevant research. Children and adolescents with both physical and intellectual impairments (0-18 years) living in the community who require assistance to perform tasks of daily living (e.g., bathing and eating) and participate in normal activities due to permanent impairments. Controlled studies of personal assistance in which participants were prospectively assigned to study groups and in which control group outcomes were measured concurrently with intervention group outcomes were included. Titles and abstracts were examined by two reviewers. 130 full papers were examined. None met the inclusion criteria. No eligible studies were found. Research in this field is limited, though one related review provides some evidence of the effectiveness of personal assistance for children and adolescents with intellectual impairments. When implementing new programmes, recipients could be randomly assigned to different forms of assistance. While advocates may support personal assistance for myriad reasons, this review demonstrates that further studies are required to determine which models of personal assistance are most effective and efficient for particular people.
 
Article
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children is associated with hyperactivity and impulsitivity, attention problems, and difficulties with social interactions. Pharmacological treatment may alleviate symptoms of ADHD but seldom solves difficulties with social interactions. Social skills training may benefit ADHD children in their social interactions. We examined the effects of social skills training on children's social competences, general behaviour, ADHD symptoms, and performance in school. To assess the effects of social skills training in children and adolescents with ADHD. We searched the following electronic databases: CENTRAL (2011, Issue1), MEDLINE (1948 to March 2011), EMBASE (1980 to March 2011), ERIC (1966 to March 2011 ), AMED (1985 to June 2011), PsycINFO (1806 to March 2011), CINAHL (1980 to March 2011), and Sociological Abstracts (1952 to March 2011). We also searched the metaRegister of Controlled Trials on 15 October 2010. We did not apply any language or date restrictions to the searches. We searched online conference abstracts and contacted 176 experts in the field for possible information about unpublished or ongoing RCTs. Randomised trials investigating social skills training for children with ADHD as a stand alone treatment or as an adjunct to pharmacological treatment. We conducted the review according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Intervention. Two authors (OJS, MS) extracted data independently using an appropriate data collection form. We performed the analyses using Review Manager 5 software. We included 11 randomised trials described in 26 records (all full text articles) in the review. The trials included a total of 747 participants. All participants were between five and 12 years of age. No trials assessed adolescents. In 10 of the trials the participants suffered from different comorbidities.The duration of the interventions ranged from eight to 10 weeks (eight trials) up to two years. The types of social skills interventions were named social skills training, cognitive behavioural intervention, multimodal behavioural/psychosocial therapy, behavioural therapy/treatment, behavioural and social skills treatment, and psychosocial treatment. The content of the social skills interventions were comparable and based on a cognitive behavioural model. Most of the trials compared child social skills training and parent training plus medication versus medication alone. Some of the experimental interventions also included teacher consultations.More than half of the trials were at high risk of bias regarding generation of the allocation sequence and allocation concealment. No trial reported blinding of participants and personnel and most of the trials had no reports regarding differences between groups in collateral medication for comorbid disorders. Overall, the trials had high risk of bias due to systematic errors. Even so, as recommended by the Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews of Interventions, we used all eligible trials in the meta-analysis, but the results are downgraded to low quality evidence.There were no statistically significant treatment effects either on social skills competences (positive value = better for the intervention group) (SMD 0.16; 95% CI -0.04 to 0.36; 5 trials, n = 392), on the teacher-rated general behaviour (negative value = better for the intervention group) (SMD 0.00; 95% CI -0.21 to 0.21; 3 trials, n = 358), or on the ADHD symptoms (negative value = better for the intervention group) (SMD -0.02; 95% CI -0.19 to 0.16; 6 trials, n = 515).No serious or non-serious adverse events were reported. The review suggests that there is little evidence to support or refute social skills training for adolescents with ADHD. There is need for more trials, with low risk of bias and with a sufficient number of participants, investigating the efficacy of social skills training versus no training for both children and adolescents.
 
Methodological quality summary: review authors' judgements about each methodological quality item for each included study.
Article
Background: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by high levels of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity that are present before the age of seven years, seen in a range of situations, inconsistent with the child's developmental level and causing social or academic impairment. Parent training programmes are psychosocial interventions aimed at training parents in techniques to enable them to manage their children's challenging behaviour. Objectives: To determine whether parent training interventions are effective in reducing ADHD symptoms and associated problems in children aged between five and eigtheen years with a diagnosis of ADHD, compared to controls with no parent training intervention. Search methods: We searched the following electronic databases (for all available years until September 2010): CENTRAL (2010, Issue 3), MEDLINE (1950 to 10 September 2010), EMBASE (1980 to 2010 Week 36), CINAHL (1937 to 13 September 2010), PsycINFO (1806 to September Week 1 2010), Dissertation Abstracts International (14 September 2010) and the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (14 September 2010). We contacted experts in the field to ask for details of unpublished or ongoing research. Selection criteria: Randomised (including quasi-randomised) studies comparing parent training with no treatment, a waiting list or treatment as usual (adjunctive or otherwise). We included studies if ADHD was the main focus of the trial and participants were over five years old and had a clinical diagnosis of ADHD or hyperkinetic disorder that was made by a specialist using the operationalised diagnostic criteria of the DSM-III/DSM-IV or ICD-10. We only included trials that reported at least one child outcome. Data collection and analysis: Four authors were involved in screening abstracts and at least 2 authors looked independently at each one. We reviewed a total of 12,691 studies and assessed five as eligible for inclusion. We extracted data and assessed the risk of bias in the five included trials. Opportunities for meta-analysis were limited and most data that we have reported are based on single studies. Main results: We found five studies including 284 participants that met the inclusion criteria, all of which compared parent training with de facto treatment as usual (TAU). One study included a nondirective parent support group as a second control arm. Four studies targeted children's behaviour problems and one assessed changes in parenting skills. Of the four studies targeting children's behaviour, two focused on behaviour at home and two focused on behaviour at school. The two studies focusing on behaviour at home had different findings: one found no difference between parent training and treatment as usual, whilst the other reported statistically significant results for parent training versus control. The two studies of behaviour at school also had different findings: one study found no difference between groups, whilst the other reported positive results for parent training when ADHD was not comorbid with oppositional defiant disorder. In this latter study, outcomes were better for girls and for children on medication.We assessed the risk of bias in most of the studies as unclear at best and often as high. Information on randomisation and allocation concealment did not appear in any study report. Inevitably, blinding of participants or personnel was impossible for this intervention; likewise, blinding of outcome assessors (who were most often the parents who had delivered the intervention) was impossible.We were only able to conduct meta-analysis for two outcomes: child 'externalising' behaviour (a measure of rulebreaking, oppositional behaviour or aggression) and child 'internalising' behaviour (for example, withdrawal and anxiety). Meta-analysis of three studies (n = 190) providing data on externalising behaviour produced results that fell short of statistical significance (SMD -0.32; 95% CI -0.83 to 0.18, I(2) = 60%). A meta-analysis of two studies (n = 142) for internalising behaviour gave significant results in the parent training groups (SMD -0.48; 95% CI -0.84 to -0.13, I(2) = 9%). Data from a third study likely to have contributed to this outcome were missing, and we have some concerns about selective outcome reporting bias.Individual study results for child behaviour outcomes were mixed. Positive results on an inventory of child behaviour problems were reported for one small study (n = 24) with the caveat that results were only positive when parent training was delivered to individuals and not groups. In another study (n = 62), positive effects (once results were adjusted for demographic and baseline data) were reported for the intervention group on a social skills measure.The study (n = 48) that assessed parenting skill changes compared parent training with a nondirective parent support group. Statistically significant improvements were reported for the parent training group. Two studies (n = 142) provided data on parent stress indices that were suitable for combining in a meta-analysis. The results were significant for the 'child' domain (MD -10.52; 95% CI -20.55 to -0.48) but not the 'parent' domain (MD -7.54; 95% CI -24.38 to 9.30). Results for this outcome from a small study (n = 24) suggested a long-term benefit for mothers who received the intervention at an individual level; in contrast, fathers benefited from short-term group treatment. A fourth study reported change data for within group measures of parental stress and found significant benefits in only one of the two active parent training group arms (P ≤ 0.01).No study reported data for academic achievement, adverse events or parental understanding of ADHD. Authors' conclusions: Parent training may have a positive effect on the behaviour of children with ADHD. It may also reduce parental stress and enhance parental confidence. However, the poor methodological quality of the included studies increases the risk of bias in the results. Data concerning ADHD-specific behaviour are ambiguous. For many important outcomes, including school achievement and adverse effects, data are lacking.Evidence from this review is not strong enough to form a basis for clinical practice guidelines. Future research should ensure better reporting of the study procedures and results.
 
Article
Background: Asthma is the most common chronic medical condition in children and a common reason for hospitalisation. Observational studies have suggested that swimming, in particular, is an ideal form of physical activity to improve fitness and decrease the burden of disease in asthma. Objectives: To determine the effectiveness and safety of swimming training as an intervention for asthma in children and adolescents aged 18 years and under. Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Airways Group's Specialised Register of trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE , EMBASE, CINAHL, in November 2011, and repeated the search of CENTRAL in July 2012. We also handsearched ongoing Clinical Trials Registers. Selection criteria: We included all randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs of children and adolescents comparing swimming training with usual care, a non-physical activity, or physical activity other than swimming. Data collection and analysis: We used standard methods specified in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic reviews of Interventions. Two review authors used a standard template to independently assess trials for inclusion and extract data on study characteristics, risk of bias elements and outcomes. We contacted trial authors to request data if not published fully. When required, we calculated correlation coefficients from studies with full outcome data to impute standard deviation of changes from baseline. Main results: Eight studies involving 262 participants were included in the review. Participants had stable asthma, with severity ranging from mild to severe. All studies were randomised trials, three studies had high withdrawal rates. Participants were between five to 18 years of age, and in seven studies swimming training varied from 30 to 90 minutes, two to three times a week, over six to 12 weeks. The programme in one study gave 30 minutes training six times per week. The comparison was usual care in seven studies and golf in one study. Chlorination status of swimming pool was unknown for four studies. Two studies used non-chlorinated pools, one study used an indoor chlorinated pool and one study used a chlorinated but well-ventilated pool.No statistically significant effects were seen in studies comparing swimming training with usual care or another physical activity for the primary outcomes; quality of life, asthma control, asthma exacerbations or use of corticosteroids for asthma. Swimming training had a clinically meaningful effect on exercise capacity compared with usual care, measured as maximal oxygen consumption during a maximum effort exercise test (VO2 max) (two studies, n = 32), with a mean increase of 9.67 mL/kg/min; 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.84 to 13.51. A difference of equivalent magnitude was found when other measures of exercise capacity were also pooled (four studies, n = 74), giving a standardised mean difference (SMD) 1.34; 95% CI 0.82 to 1.86. Swimming training was associated with small increases in resting lung function parameters of varying statistical significance; mean difference (MD) for FEV1 % predicted 8.07; 95% CI 3.59 to 12.54. In sensitivity analyses, by risk of attrition bias or use of imputed standard deviations, there were no important changes on effect sizes. Unknown chlorination status of pools limited subgroup analyses.Based on limited data, there were no adverse effects on asthma control or occurrence of exacerbations. Authors' conclusions: This review indicates that swimming training is well-tolerated in children and adolescents with stable asthma, and increases lung function (moderate strength evidence) and cardio-pulmonary fitness (high strength evidence). There was no evidence that swimming training caused adverse effects on asthma control in young people 18 years and under with stable asthma of any severity. However whether swimming is better than other forms of physical activity cannot be determined from this review. Further adequately powered trials with longer follow-up periods are needed to better assess the long-term benefits of swimming.
 
Article
Not enough evidence that induced hypothermia (cooling) of newborn babies who may have suffered from a lack of oxygen at birth reduces death or disability A lack of oxygen before and during birth can destroy cells in a newborn baby's brain, and this damage continues for some time afterwards. One way to try and stop this damage is to induce hypothermia - cooling the baby or just the baby's head for some hours to days. This may reduce the amount of damage to brain cells. This review found that there is not enough evidence from trials to show whether or not induced hypothermia helps newborn babies at risk of brain damage. More research is needed.
 
Article
There is a high incidence of impairments among working age adults. Many countries offer personal assistance in the form of individualised support for people living in the community by a paid assistant other than a healthcare professional for at least 20 hours per week. To assess the effectiveness of personal assistance for adults with physical impairments, and the impacts of personal assistance on others, compared to other interventions. Electronic databases including CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ERIC, Dissertation Abstracts International and a variety of specialist Swedish databases were searched from 1980 to June 2005; reference lists were checked; 345 experts, organisations, government bodies and charities were contacted in an attempt to locate relevant research. Adults (19-64) with physical impairments living in the community who require assistance to perform tasks of daily living (e.g., bathing and eating) and participate in normal activities due to permanent impairments. Controlled studies of personal assistance in which participants were prospectively assigned to study groups and in which control group outcomes were measured concurrently with intervention group outcomes were included. Titles and abstracts were examined by two reviewers. Outcome data were extracted. Studies were assessed for the possibility of bias. Results and potential sources of bias are presented for included studies. One randomised controlled trial involving 817 participants compared personal assistance versus usual care was identified. Whilst personal assistance was generally preferred over other services, some people prefer other models of care. This review indicates that personal assistance may have some benefits for some recipients and may benefit caregivers. Whilst paid assistance probably substitutes for informal care and may cost government more than alternatives, the total costs to recipients and society are currently unknown. Research in this field is limited. When implementing new programmes, recipients could be randomly assigned to different forms of assistance. While advocates may support personal assistance for myriad reasons, this review demonstrates that further studies are required to determine which models of personal assistance are most effective and efficient for particular people.
 
Article
There is a high incidence of impairments among working age adults, and their prevalence is increasing in the West. Many countries offer personal assistance in the form of individualised support for people living in the community by a paid assistant other than a healthcare professional for at least 20 hours per week. To assess the effectiveness of personal assistance for adults with physical and intellectual impairments, and the impacts of personal assistance on others, compared to other interventions. Electronic databases including CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ERIC, Dissertation Abstracts International and a variety of specialist Swedish databases were searched from 1980 to June 2005; reference lists were checked; 345 experts, organisations, government bodies and charities were contacted in an attempt to locate relevant research. Adults (19-64) with permanent physical and intellectual impairments living in the community who require assistance to perform tasks of daily living (e.g., bathing and eating) and participate in normal activities. Controlled studies of personal assistance in which participants were prospectively assigned to study groups and in which control group outcomes were measured concurrently with intervention group outcomes were included. Titles and abstracts were examined by two reviewers. Outcome data were extracted. Because no two studies made the same comparison, studies were not combined for meta-analyses. Studies were assessed for bias. Results and potential sources of bias are presented for included studies. Two studies involving 1002 participants compared personal assistance versus usual care. Whilst personal assistance was generally preferred over other services, some people prefer other services. Personal assistance may have some benefits for some recipients and may benefit caregivers. Paid assistance probably substitutes for informal care and may cost government more than alternatives; however, some evidence suggests it may reduce costs. The total costs to recipients and society are unknown. Research in this field is limited. Personal assistance is expensive and difficult to organise, especially in places that do not already have services in place, but its total cost relative to other services is unknown. When implementing new programmes, recipients could be randomly assigned to different forms of assistance (e.g. organised by individual users versus organised through a cooperative). While advocates may support personal assistance for myriad reasons, this review demonstrates that further studies are required to determine which models of assistance are most effective and efficient for particular people.
 
Article
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), originally based on the gate-control theory of pain, is widely used for the treatment of chronic low back pain. Despite its wide use and theoretical rationale, there appears at first glance little scientific evidence to support its use. This Cochrane review examines the available evidence on TENS for the treatment of chronic back pain through an exhaustive search of the literature. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (ALTENS) for chronic low back pain management have experienced a tremendous growth over the past 25 years. The objective of this review was to assess the effects of TENS and ALTENS for reducing pain and improving function in patients with chronic back pain. We searched MEDLINE up to November 1997, EMBASE from 1985 to September 1995, Amed and Ciscom to January 1995, reference lists of the retrieved articles, proceedings of conferences and contacted investigators in the field. Randomised trials comparing TENS or ALTENS therapy to placebo in patients with chronic low back pain. Two reviewers independently assessed trial quality and extracted data on pain reduction, range of movement, functional and work status. Six trials were included. The trials included 288 participants with an average age range of 45 to 50 years and approximately equal numbers of women and men. The overall odds ratio for improvement in pain for each comparison was: TENS/ALTENS versus placebo 2.11 (95% confidence interval 1.32 to 3. 38), ALTENS versus placebo 7.22 (95% confidence interval 2.60 to 20.01) and TENS versus placebo 1.52 (95% confidence interval 0.90 to 2.58). The odds ration for improvement in range of motion on ALTENS versus placebo was 6.61 (95% confidence interval 2.36 to 18.55). There is evidence from the limited data available that TENS/ALTENS reduces pain and improves range of motion in chronic back pain patients, at least in the short term. A large trial of ALTENS and TENS is needed to confirm these findings.
 
Article
Remote and web 2.0 interventions for promoting physical activity (PA) are becoming increasingly popular but their ability to achieve long term changes are unknown. To compare the effectiveness of remote and web 2.0 interventions for PA promotion in community dwelling adults (aged 16 years and above) with a control group exposed to placebo or no or minimal intervention. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and some other databases (from earliest dates available to October 2012). Reference lists of relevant articles were checked. No language restrictions were applied. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared remote and web 2.0 PA interventions for community dwelling adults with a placebo or no or minimal intervention control group. We included studies if the principal component of the intervention was delivered using remote or web 2.0 technologies (for example the internet, smart phones) or more traditional methods (for example telephone, mail-outs), or both. To assess behavioural change over time, the included studies had a minimum of 12 months follow-up from the start of the intervention to the final results. We excluded studies that had more than a 20% loss to follow-up if they did not apply an intention-to-treat analysis. At least two authors independently assessed the quality of each study and extracted the data. Non-English language papers were reviewed with the assistance of an interpreter who was an epidemiologist. Study authors were contacted for additional information where necessary. Standardised mean differences (SMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for the continuous measures of self-reported PA and cardio-respiratory fitness. For studies with dichotomous outcomes, odds ratios and 95% CIs were calculated. A total of 11 studies recruiting 5862 apparently healthy adults met the inclusion criteria. All of the studies took place in high-income countries. The effect of the interventions on cardiovascular fitness at one year (two studies; 444 participants) was positive and moderate with significant heterogeneity of the observed effects (SMD 0.40; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.76; high quality evidence). The effect of the interventions on self-reported PA at one year (nine studies; 4547 participants) was positive and moderate (SMD 0.20; 95% CI 0.11 to 0.28; moderate quality evidence) with heterogeneity (I(2) = 37%) in the observed effects. One study reported positive results at two years (SMD 0.20; 95% CI 0.08 to 0.32; moderate quality evidence). When studies were stratified by risk of bias, the studies at low risk of bias (eight studies; 3403 participants) had an increased effect (SMD 0.28; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.40; moderate quality evidence). The most effective interventions applied a tailored approach to the type of PA and used telephone contact to provide feedback and to support changes in PA levels. There was no evidence of an increased risk of adverse events (seven studies; 2892 participants). Risk of bias was assessed as low (eight studies; 3060 participants) or moderate (three studies; 2677 participants). There were no differences in effectiveness between studies using different types of professionals delivering the intervention (for example health professional, exercise specialist). There was no difference in pooled estimates between studies that generated the prescribed PA using an automated computer programme versus a human, nor between studies that used pedometers as part of their intervention compared to studies that did not. We found consistent evidence to support the effectiveness of remote and web 2.0 interventions for promoting PA. These interventions have positive, moderate sized effects on increasing self-reported PA and measured cardio-respiratory fitness, at least at 12 months. The effectiveness of these interventions was supported by moderate and high quality studies. However, there continues to be a paucity of cost effectiveness data and studies that include participants from varying socioeconomic or ethnic groups. To better understand the independent effect of individual programme components, longer term studies, with at least one year follow-up, are required.
 
Article
Face-to-face interventions for promoting physical activity (PA) are continuing to be popular as remote and web 2.0 approaches rapidly emerge, but we are unsure which approach is more effective at achieving long term sustained change. To compare the effectiveness of face-to-face versus remote and web 2.0 interventions for PA promotion in community dwelling adults (aged 16 years and above). We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and some other databases (from earliest dates available to October 2012). Reference lists of relevant articles were checked. No language restrictions were applied. Randomised trials that compared face-to-face versus remote and web 2.0 PA interventions for community dwelling adults. We included studies if they compared an intervention that was principally delivered face-to-face to an intervention that had principally remote and web 2.0 methods. To assess behavioural change over time, the included studies had a minimum of 12 months follow-up from the start of the intervention to the final results. We excluded studies that had more than a 20% loss to follow-up if they did not apply an intention-to-treat analysis. At least two review authors independently assessed the quality of each study and extracted the data. Non-English language papers were reviewed with the assistance of an interpreter who was an epidemiologist. Study authors were contacted for additional information where necessary. Standardised mean differences (SMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for continuous measures of cardio-respiratory fitness. One study recruiting 225 apparently healthy adults met the inclusion criteria. This study took place in a high-income country. From 27,299 hits, the full texts of 193 papers were retrieved for examination against the inclusion criteria. However, there was only one paper that met the inclusion criteria. This study reported the effect of a PA intervention on cardio-respiratory fitness. There were no reported data for PA, quality of life, or cost effectiveness. The difference between the remote and web 2.0 versus face-to-face arms was not significant (SMD -0.02; 95% CI -0.30 to 0.26; high quality evidence). The risk of bias in the included study was assessed as low, and there was no evidence of an increased risk of adverse events. There is insufficient evidence to assess whether face-to-face interventions or remote and web 2.0 approaches are more effective at promoting PA.
 
'Risk of bias' graph: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item presented as percentages across all included studies.
Article
The common cold is considered to be caused by viruses and it has long been believed that antibiotics have no role in treating this condition. In many countries doctors will often prescribe antibiotics for the common cold in the belief that they may prevent secondary bacterial infection and in some cases to respond to patient demand. There is also increasing concern over the resistance of common bacteria to commonly used antibiotics. A crucial step in reducing the use of antibiotics for the common cold is to examine the evidence to see if there is any benefit or if there is benefit for some subgroups or symptom constellations. (1) To determine the efficacy of antibiotics in comparison with placebo in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections (common colds) in terms of the proportion of patients in whom the clinical outcome was considered to be a reduction in general symptoms and specific nasopharyngeal symptoms. (2) To determine whether there are significant adverse outcomes associated with antibiotic therapy for patients with a clinical diagnosis of acute upper respiratory tract infection. We searched the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Family Medicine Database, and reference lists of articles, and we contacted principal investigators. The most recent search was in May 2001 Randomised trials comparing any antibiotic therapy with placebo in acute upper respiratory tract infections with less than 7 days of symptoms Both reviewers independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. All analyses used fixed effects unless otherwise stated Main results: Nine trials involving 2249 (2157 analysed) people aged between two months and 79 years (and adults with no upper age limit) years were included. The overall quality of the included trials was variable. People receiving antibiotics did not do better in terms of lack of cure or persistence of symptoms than those on placebo (odds ratio 0.8, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.59 to 1.08). Only one study Taylor et al (1977) specifically reported persistence of clear rhinitis with a small benefit to those on antibiotics. Two studies found a significant benefit for antibiotics compared with placebo for runny nose (clear) odds ratio 0.42 (0.22-0.78). Two studies also found a significant benefit in patients with sore throat odds ratio 0.27 95% CI (0.10-0.74). Only one study reported work time lost with 22% of those on antibiotic treatment and 25% of those on placebo but this was not significant. Adult patients treated with antibiotics had a significant increase in adverse effects (odds ratio 3.6 95% CI 2.21 to 5.89) while there was no significant increase in children odds ratio 0.90 95% CI (0.44-1.82). Reviewers' conclusions: There is not enough evidence of important benefits from the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections with antibiotics to warrant their routine use in children or adults and there is a significant increase in adverse effects associated with antibiotic use in adult patients.
 
Article
Background: It has long been believed that antibiotics have no role in the treatment of common colds yet they are often prescribed in the belief that they may prevent secondary bacterial infections. Objectives: To determine the efficacy of antibiotics compared with placebo for reducing general and specific nasopharyngeal symptoms of acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) (common colds).To determine if antibiotics have any influence on the outcomes for acute purulent rhinitis and acute clear rhinitis lasting less than 10 days before the intervention.To determine whether there are significant adverse outcomes associated with antibiotic therapy for participants with a clinical diagnosis of acute URTI or acute purulent rhinitis. Search methods: For this 2013 update we searched CENTRAL 2013, Issue 1, MEDLINE (March 2005 to February week 2, 2013), EMBASE (January 2010 to February 2013), CINAHL (2005 to February 2013), LILACS (2005 to February 2013) and Biosis Previews (2005 to February 2013). Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing any antibiotic therapy against placebo in people with symptoms of acute upper respiratory tract infection for less than seven days, or acute purulent rhinitis less than 10 days in duration. Data collection and analysis: Both review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Main results: This updated review included 11 studies. Six studies contributed to one or more analyses related to the common cold, with up to 1047 participants. Five studies contributed to one or more analyses relating to purulent rhinitis, with up to 791 participants. One study contributed only to data on adverse events and one met the inclusion criteria but reported only summary statistics without providing any numerical data that could be included in the meta-analyses. Interpretation of the combined data is limited because some studies included only children, or only adults, or only males; a wide range of antibiotics were used and outcomes were measured in different ways. There was a moderate risk of bias because of unreported methods details or because an unknown number of participants were likely to have chest or sinus infections.Participants receiving antibiotics for the common cold did no better in terms of lack of cure or persistence of symptoms than those on placebo (risk ratio (RR) 0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.59 to 1.51, (random-effects)), based on a pooled analysis of six trials with a total of 1047 participants. The RR of adverse effects in the antibiotic group was 1.8, 95% CI 1.01 to 3.21, (random-effects). Adult participants had a significantly greater risk of adverse effects with antibiotics than with placebo (RR 2.62, 95% CI 1.32 to 5.18) (random-effects) while there was no greater risk in children (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.51 to 1.63).The pooled RR for persisting acute purulent rhinitis with antibiotics compared to placebo was 0.73 (95% CI 0.47 to 1.13) (random-effects), based on four studies with 723 participants. There was an increase in adverse effects in the studies of antibiotics for acute purulent rhinitis (RR 1.46, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.94). Authors' conclusions: There is no evidence of benefit from antibiotics for the common cold or for persisting acute purulent rhinitis in children or adults. There is evidence that antibiotics cause significant adverse effects in adults when given for the common cold and in all ages when given for acute purulent rhinitis. Routine use of antibiotics for these conditions is not recommended.
 
Article
The lungs of newborn babies' can be damaged by meconium aspiration syndrome. Meconium aspiration syndrome is caused when a stressed baby passes a bowel movement while still in the womb and then breathes some of this material into the lungs. Pulmonary surfactant, the complex combination of chemicals that line the surface of the lung, may be altered or inactivated in babies who have meconium aspiration. It is thought that treatment with additional surfactant might be able to help overcome this damage. This review of trials found that surfactant can reduce breathing difficulties and breathing failure in babies suffering from meconium aspiration syndrome.
 
Article
Background: Patients with limited cerebral ischaemia of arterial origin are at risk of serious vascular events (4% to 11% annually). Aspirin reduces that risk by 13%. In one trial, adding dipyridamole to aspirin was associated with a 22% risk reduction compared with aspirin alone. However, a systematic review of all trials of antiplatelet agents by the Antithrombotic Trialists' Collaboration showed that, in high-risk patients, there was virtually no difference between the aspirin-dipyridamole combination and aspirin alone. Objectives: To assess the efficacy and safety of dipyridamole versus control in the secondary prevention of vascular events in patients with vascular disease. Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group trials register (searched June 2006), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library Issue 2, 2006), MEDLINE (1966 to May 2006) and EMBASE (1980 to May 2006). We contacted authors and pharmaceutical companies in the search for further data on published and unpublished studies. Selection criteria: We selected randomised long-term secondary prevention trials with concealed treatment allocation, treatment for more than one month, starting within six months after presentation of an arterial vascular disease. Treatment consisted of dipyridamole with or without other antiplatelet drugs compared with no drug or an antiplatelet drug other than dipyridamole. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion, assessed trial quality and extracted data. Data were analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle. Main results: Twenty-nine trials were included, with 23019 participants, among whom 1503 vascular deaths and 3438 fatal and non-fatal vascular events occurred during follow up. Compared with control, dipyridamole had no clear effect on vascular death (relative risk (RR) 0.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.87 to 1.12). This result was not influenced by the dose of dipyridamole or type of presenting vascular disease. Compared with control, dipyridamole appeared to reduce the risk of vascular events (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.95). This effect was only statistically significant in patients presenting with cerebral ischaemia. Authors' conclusions: For patients who presented with arterial vascular disease, there was no evidence that dipyridamole, in the presence or absence of another antiplatelet drug reduced the risk of vascular death, though it reduces the risk of further vascular events. This benefit was found only in patients presenting after cerebral ischaemia. There was no evidence that dipyridamole alone was more efficacious than aspirin.
 
Article
Diarrhea may be a side effect of many commonly used antibiotics, and this is in some cases due to overgrowth of a bacterium called Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) in the colon after other bacteria have been killed. The seriousness of C. difficile-associated diarrhea can range from being a nuisance to a life threatening or even fatal disease. The treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea is usually cessation of the initiating antibiotic and immediate administration of a new antibiotic. However each of these three strategies, cessation of the original antibiotic, immediate retreatment, and the choice of a new antibiotic are poorly supported by currently available evidence. The antibiotic that is most tested, vancomycin, is the one most prone to serious side effects. Seven other antibiotics are included in this review and within the limitations of the included studies, they each seem to be as effective as vancomycin. Antibiotic therapy for Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea needs further investigation.
 
Article
Background: Structured antenatal education programs for childbirth or parenthood, or both, are commonly recommended for pregnant women and their partners by healthcare professionals in many parts of the world. Such programs are usually offered to groups but may be offered to individuals. Objectives: To assess the effects of this education on knowledge acquisition, anxiety, sense of control, pain, labour and birth support, breastfeeding, infant-care abilities, and psychological and social adjustment. Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (April 2006), CINAHL (1982 to April 2006), ERIC (1984 to April 2006), EMBASE (1980 to April 2006) and PsycINFO (1988 to April 2006). We handsearched the Journal of Psychosomatic Research from 1956 to April 2006 and reviewed the reference lists of retrieved studies. Selection criteria: Randomized controlled trials of any structured educational program provided during pregnancy by an educator to either parent that included information related to pregnancy, birth or parenthood. The educational interventions could have been provided on an individual or group basis. Educational interventions directed exclusively to either increasing breastfeeding success, knowledge of and coping skills concerning postpartum depression, improving maternal psycho-social health including anxiety, depression and self-esteem or reducing smoking were excluded. Data collection and analysis: Both authors assessed trial quality and extracted data from published reports. Main results: Nine trials, involving 2284 women, were included. Thirty-seven studies were excluded. Educational interventions were the focus of eight of the studies (combined n = 1009). Details of the randomization procedure, allocation concealment, and/or participant accrual or loss for these trials were not reported. No consistent results were found. Sample sizes were very small to moderate, ranging from 10 to 318. No data were reported concerning anxiety, breastfeeding success, or general social support. Knowledge acquisition, sense of control, factors related to infant-care competencies, and some labour and birth outcomes were measured. The largest of the included studies (n = 1275) examined an educational and social support intervention to increase vaginal birth after caesarean section. This high-quality study showed similar rates of vaginal birth after caesarean section in 'verbal' and 'document' groups (relative risk 1.08, 95% confidence interval 0.97 to 1.21). Authors' conclusions: The effects of general antenatal education for childbirth or parenthood, or both, remain largely unknown. Individualized prenatal education directed toward avoidance of a repeat caesarean birth does not increase the rate of vaginal birth after caesarean section.
 
Article
Background: Fungal infections of the feet normally occur in the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis). The skin between the toes is a frequent site of infection which can cause pain and itchiness. Fungal infections of the nail (onychomycosis) can affect the entire nail plate. Objectives: To assess the effects of topical treatments in successfully treating (rate of treatment failure) fungal infections of the skin of the feet and toenails and in preventing recurrence. Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Skin Group Specialised Register (January 2005), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library Issue 1, 2005), MEDLINE and EMBASE (from inception to January 2005). We screened the Science Citation Index, BIOSIS, CAB - Health and Healthstar, CINAHL DARE, NHS Economic Evaluation Database and EconLit (March 2005). Bibliographies were searched. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) using participants who had mycologically diagnosed fungal infections of the skin and nails of the foot. Data collection and analysis: Two authors independently summarised the included trials and appraised their quality of reporting using a structured data extraction tool. Main results: Of the 144 identified papers, 67 trials met the inclusion criteria. Placebo-controlled trials yielded the following pooled risk ratios (RR) of treatment failure for skin infections: allylamines RR 0.33 (95% CI 0.24 to 0.44); azoles RR 0.30 (95% CI 0.20 to 0.45); ciclopiroxolamine RR 0.27 (95% CI 0.11 to 0.66); tolnaftate RR 0.19 (95% CI 0.08 to 0.44); butenafine RR 0.33 (95% CI 0.24 to 0.45); undecanoates RR 0.29 (95% CI 0.12 - 0.70). Meta-analysis of 11 trials comparing allylamines and azoles showed a risk ratio of treatment failure RR 0.63 (95% CI 0.42 to 0.94) in favour of allylamines. Evidence for the management of topical treatments for infections of the toenails is sparser. There is some evidence that ciclopiroxolamine and butenafine are both effective but they both need to be applied daily for prolonged periods (at least 1 year). The 6 trials of nail infections provided evidence that topical ciclopiroxolamine has poor cure rates and that amorolfine might be substantially more effective but more research is required. Authors' conclusions: Placebo-controlled trials of allylamines and azoles for athlete's foot consistently produce much higher percentages of cure than placebo. Allylamines cure slightly more infections than azoles and are now available OTC. Further research into the effectiveness of antifungal agents for nail infections is required.
 
Article
Enteral feeding tubes for preterm infants may be placed in the stomach (gastric tube feeding) or in the upper small bowel (transpyloric tube feeding). There are potential advantages and disadvantages to both routes. To determine the effect of feeding via the transpyloric route versus feeding via the gastric route on feeding tolerance, growth and development and adverse consequences in preterm infants who require enteral tube feeding. The standard search strategy of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group was used. This included electronic searches of MEDLINE and EMBASE (up to March 2007) and of The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register in The Cochrane Library (Issue 1, 2007), and searches of the references in previous reviews including cross references. Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials comparing transpyloric with gastric tube feeding in preterm infants. Data were extracted using the standard methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group, with separate evaluation of trial quality and data extraction by each author and synthesis of data using relative risk (RR) and weighted mean difference (WMD). Data from nine trials were available. No evidence of an effect on short term growth rates was found: weight: WMD -0.7 g/week (95% confidence interval (CI) -25.2, 23.8); crown heel length: WMD -0.7 mm/week (95% CI -2.4, 1.0); head circumference: WMD 0.6 mm/week (95% CI -0.9, 2.1). Longer term growth was reported in one study. There were not any statistically significant differences between the groups in the mean body weight or occipitofrontal head circumference at three months or at six months corrected age. None of the included studies provided data on neurodevelopmental outcomes. Transpyloric feeding was associated with a greater incidence of gastro-intestinal disturbance (RR 1.45, 95% CI 1.05, 2.09). There was some evidence that feeding via the transpyloric route increased mortality (RR 2.46, 95% CI 1.36, 4.46). However, the outcomes of the study that contributed most to this finding were likely to have been affected by selective allocation of the less mature and sicker infants to transpyloric feeding. No statistically significant differences in the incidence of other adverse events, including necrotising enterocolitis, intestinal perforation, and aspiration pneumonia was found. No evidence of any beneficial effect of transpyloric feeding in preterm infants was found. However, evidence of adverse effects was noted. Feeding via the transpyloric route cannot be recommended for preterm infants.
 
Article
Background: Despite drug and surgical therapies for Parkinson's disease, patients develop progressive disability. It has both motor and non-motor symptomatology, and their interaction with their environment can be very complex. The role of the occupational therapist is to support the patient and help them maintain their usual level of self-care, work and leisure activities for as long as possible. When it is no longer possible to maintain their usual activities, occupational therapists support individuals in changing and adapting their relationship with their physical and social environment to develop new valued activities and roles. Objectives: To compare the efficacy and effectiveness of occupational therapy with placebo or no interventions (control group) in patients with Parkinson's disease. Search strategy: Relevant trials were identified by electronic searches of MEDLINE (1966-April 2007), EMBASE (1974-2000), CINAHL (1982-April 2007), Psycinfo (1806-April 2007), Ovid OLDMEDLINE (1950-1965), ISI Web of Knowledge (1981-April 2007), National Library for Health (NLH) (April 2007), Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health (NMAP) (April 2007), Intute: Medicine (December 2005), Proquest Nursing Journals (PNJ, 1986 - April 2007); rehabilitation databases: AMED (1985-April 2007), MANTIS (1880-2000), REHABDATA (1956-2000), REHADAT (2000), GEROLIT (1979-2000); English language databases of foreign language research and third world publications: Pascal (1984-2000), LILACS (1982- April 2007), MedCarib (17th Century-April 2007), JICST-EPlus (1985-2000), AIM (1993-April 2007), IMEMR (1984-April 2007), grey literature databases: SIGLE (1980-2000), ISI-ISTP (1982-April 2007), DISSABS (1999-2000), Conference Papers Index (CPI, 1982-2000) and Aslib Index to Theses (AIT, 1716- April 2006), The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (Issue 2, 2007), the CenterWatch Clinical Trials listing service (April 2007), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT, April 2007), Current controlled trials (CCT) (April 2007), ClinicalTrials.gov (April 2007), CRISP (1972-April 2007), PEDro (April 2007), NIDRR (April 2007) and NRR (April 2007) and the reference lists of identified studies and other reviews were examined. Selection criteria: Only randomised controlled trials (RCT) were included, however those trials that allowed quasi-random methods of allocation were allowed. Data collection and analysis: Data was abstracted independently by two authors and differences were settled by discussion. Main results: Two trials were identified with 84 patients in total. Although both trials reported a positive effect from occupational therapy, all of the improvements were small. The trials did not have adequate placebo treatments, used small numbers of patients and the method of randomisation and concealment of allocation was not specified in one trial. These methodological problems could potentially lead to bias from a number of sources reducing the strength of the studies further. Authors' conclusions: Considering the significant methodological flaws in the studies, the small number of patients examined, and the possibility of publication bias, there is insufficient evidence to support or refute the efficacy of occupational therapy in Parkinson's disease. There is now a consensus as to UK current and best practice in occupational therapy when treating people with Parkinson's disease. We now require large well designed placebo-controlled RCTs to demonstrate occupational therapy's effectiveness in Parkinson's disease. Outcome measures with particular relevance to patients, carers, occupational therapists and physicians should be chosen and the patients monitored for at least six months to determine the duration of benefit. The trials should be reported using CONSORT guidelines.
 
Article
Background: Intubation is associated with bacterial colonisation of the respiratory tract and, therefore, may increase the risk of acquiring an infection. The infection may prolong the need for mechanical ventilation and increase the risk of chronic lung disease. The use of prophylactic antibiotics has been advocated for all mechanically ventilated newborns in order to reduce the risk of colonisation and the acquisition of infection. However, there is the possibility that the harm this may cause might outweigh the benefit. Objectives: To assess the effects of prophylactic antibiotics on mortality and morbidity in intubated, ventilated newborn infants who are not known to have infection. In separate comparisons, two different policies regarding the prophylactic use of antibiotics in intubated, ventilated infants were reviewed: 1) among infants who have been intubated for mechanical ventilation, a policy of prophylactic antibiotics for the duration of intubation versus placebo or no treatment 2) among intubated, ventilated infants who have been started on antibiotics at the time of intubation but whose initial cultures to rule out sepsis were negative, a policy of continuing versus discontinuing prophylactic antibiotics. Search strategy: MEDLINE (January 1950 to March 2007), CINAHL (1982 to March 2007), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library, Issue 1, 2007), the Cochrane Neonatal Group Specialised Register and reference lists of articles were searched. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials of sufficient quality in which mechanically ventilated newborn infants are randomised to receive prophylactic antibiotics versus placebo or no treatment. Data collection and analysis: Two reviewers independently assessed trial quality. Main results: Two studies met the criteria for inclusion in this review. One was of insufficient quality to draw any meaningful conclusions. The other was of fair quality and found no significant differences between treatment and control groups in any of the reported outcomes, however, the rates of septicaemia were not reported. Authors' conclusions: There is insufficient evidence from randomised trials to support or refute the use of prophylactic antibiotics when starting mechanical ventilation in newborn infants, or to support or refute continuing antibiotics once initial cultures have ruled out infection in mechanically ventilated newborn infants.
 
Article
Background: It is not clear whether there is benefit in repeating the dose of prenatal corticosteroids for women who remain at risk of preterm birth after an initial course. Objectives: To assess the effectiveness and safety of a repeat dose(s) of prenatal corticosteroids. Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (February 2007), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2006, Issue 4), MEDLINE (1965 to November 2006), EMBASE (1988 to November 2006) and Current Contents (1997 to November 2006). Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials of women who have already received a single course of corticosteroids seven or more days previously and are still considered to be at risk of preterm birth; outcomes compared for women randomised to receive a repeat dose(s) of prenatal corticosteroids, with women given no further prenatal corticosteroids. Data collection and analysis: We assessed trial quality and extracted the data independently. Main results: Five trials, involving over 2000 women between 23 and 33 weeks' gestation, are included. Treatment with repeat dose(s) of corticosteroid was associated with a reduction in occurrence (relative risk (RR) 0.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72 to 0.93, four trials, 2155 infants) and severity of any neonatal lung disease (RR 0.60, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.75, three trials, 2139 infants) and serious infant morbidity (RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.93, four trials, 2157 infants).Mean birthweight was not significantly different between treatment groups (weighted mean difference (WMD) -62.07 g, 95% CI -129.10 to 4.96, four trials, 2273 infants), although in one trial, treatment with repeat dose(s) of corticosteroid was associated with a reduction in birthweight Z score (WMD) -0.13, 95% CI -26 to 0.00, 1 trial, 1144 infants), and in two trials, with an increased risk of being small for gestational age at birth (RR 1.63, 95% CI 1.12 to 2.37, two trials, 602 infants). No statistically significant differences were seen for any of the other primary outcomes that included other measures of respiratory morbidity, fetal and neonatal mortality, periventricular haemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia and maternal infectious morbidity. Treatment with repeat dose(s) of corticosteroid was associated with a significantly increased risk of caesarean section (RR 1.11, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.22, four trials, 1523 women). Authors' conclusions: Repeat dose(s) of prenatal corticosteroids reduce the occurrence and severity of neonatal lung disease and the risk of serious health problems in the first few weeks of life. These short-term benefits for babies support the use of repeat dose(s) of prenatal corticosteroids for women at risk of preterm birth. However, these benefits are associated with a reduction in some measures of weight, and head circumference at birth, and there is still insufficient evidence on the longer-term benefits and risks.
 
Article
Routine use of nasogastric tubes after abdominal operations is intended to hasten the return of bowel function, prevent pulmonary complications, diminish the risk of anastomotic leakage, increase patient comfort and shorten hospital stay. To investigate the efficacy of routine nasogastric decompression after abdominal surgery in achieving each of the above goals. Search terms were nasogastric, tubes, randomised, using MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Central), and references of included studies, from 1966 through 2006. Patients having abdominal operations of any type, emergency or elective, who were randomised prior tot he completion of the operation to receive a nasogastric tube and keep it in place until intestinal function had returned, versus those receiving either no tube or early tube removal, in surgery, in recovery or within 24 hours of surgery. Excluded will be randomised studies involving laparoscopic abdominal surgery and patient groups having gastric decompression through gastrostomy. Data were abstracted onto a form that assessed study eligibility, as defined above, quality related to randomizations, allocation concealment, study size and dropouts, interventions, including timing and duration of intubation, outcomes that included time to flatus, pulmonary complications, wound infection, anastomotic leak, length of stay, death, nausea, vomiting, tube reinsertion, subsequent ventral hernia. 33 studies fulfilled eligibility criteria, encompassing 5240 patients, 2628 randomised to routine tube use, and 2612 randomised to selective or No Tube use. Patients not having routine tube use had an earlier return of bowel function (p<0.00001), a decrease in pulmonary complications (p=0.01) and an insignificant trend toward increase in risk of wound infection (p=0.22) and ventral hernia (0.09). Anastomotic leak was no different between groups (p=0.70). Vomiting seemed to favour routine tube use, but with increased patient discomfort. Length of stay was shorter when no tube was used but the heterogeneity encountered in these analyses make rigorous conclusion difficult to draw for this outcome. No adverse events specifically related to tube insertion (direct tube trauma) were reported. Other outcomes were reported with insufficient frequency to be informative. Routine nasogastric decompression does not accomplish any of its intended goals and so should be abandoned in favour of selective use of the nasogastric tube.
 
Article
Background: Adhesions are the leading cause of small bowel obstruction. Gastrografin transit time may allow for the selection of appropriate patients for non-operative management. Some studies have shown when the contrast does not reach the colon after a designated time it indicates complete intestinal obstruction that is unlikely to resolve with conservative treatment. When the contrast does reach the large bowel, it indicates partial obstruction and patients are likely to respond to conservative treatment. Other studies have suggested that the administration of water-soluble contrast is therapeutic in resolving the obstruction. Objectives: To determine the reliability of water-soluble contrast media and serial abdominal radiographs in predicting the success of conservative treatment in patients admitted with adhesive small bowel obstruction.Furthermore, to determine the efficacy and safety of water-soluble contrast media in reducing the need for surgical intervention and reducing hospital stay in adhesive small bowel obstruction. Search strategy: The search was conducted using MESH terms: ''Intestinal obstruction'', ''water-soluble contrast'', "Adhesions" and "Gastrografin". The later combined with the Cochrane Collaboration highly sensitive search strategy for identifying randomised controlled trials and controlled clinical trials. Selection criteria: 1. Prospective studies were included to evaluate the diagnostic potential of water-soluble contrast in adhesive small bowel obstruction.2. Randomised clinical trials were selected to evaluate the therapeutic role. Data collection and analysis: 1. Studies that addressed the diagnostic role of water-soluble contrast were critically appraised and data presented as sensitivities, specificities and positive and negative likelihood ratios. Results were pooled and summary ROC curve was constructed.2. A meta-analysis of the data from therapeutic studies was performed using the Mantel -Henszel test using both the fixed effect and random effect models. Main results: The appearance of water-soluble contrast in the colon on an abdominal X ray within 24 hours of its administration predicts resolution of an adhesive small bowel obstruction with a pooled sensitivity of 0.97, specificity of 0.96. The area under the curve of the summary ROC curve is 0.98. Six randomised studies dealing with the therapeutic role of gastrografin were included in the review, water-soluble contrast did not reduce the need for surgical intervention (OR 0.81, p = 0.3). Meta-analysis of four of the included studies showed that water-soluble contrast did reduce hospital stay compared with placebo (WMD= - 1.83) P<0.001. Authors' conclusions: Published literature strongly supports the use of water-soluble contrast as a predictive test for non-operative resolution of adhesive small bowel obstruction. Although Gastrografin does not cause resolution of small bowel obstruction there is strong evidence that it reduces hospital stay in those not requiring surgery.
 
Article
Background: Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is an iatrogenic potentially life threatening condition resulting from an excessive ovarian stimulation. Its reported incidence varies from one percent to ten percent of in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. The factors leading to this syndrome have not been completely explained. It seems likely that the release of vasoactive substances, secreted by the ovaries under human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) stimulation plays a key role in triggering this syndrome. The hallmark of this condition, is a massive shift of fluid from the intra-vascular compartment to the third space resulting in profound intra-vascular depletion and haemoconcentration. Objectives: To evaluate (i) the effectiveness of cryopreservation (embryo freezing) for the prevention of OHSS when compared with human intra-venous albumin infusion (ii) the effectiveness of the elective cryopreservation (embryo freezing ) of all embryos for the prevention of OHSS when compared with fresh embryo transfer. Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Review Group specialised register of controlled trials up to April 2007. In addition, MEDLINE (PUBMED 1985 to March 2007), EMBASE (1985 to April 2007), CINAHL (1985 to March 2007) and the National Research Register (April 2007) were searched. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in which either human intra-venous albumin or cryopreservation of all embryos were used as a therapeutic approach to OHSS were included. The women were women of reproductive age who were down regulated by gonadotrophin-releasing hormone-analogue (GnRH-a), undergoing superovulation in in vitro fertilization and or intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF and or ICSI) cycles. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors, Mr N.N. Amso (NNA) and Dr A. D'Angelo (ADA) scanned the titles and the abstracts of the reports identified by electronic searching in order to find relevant papers. One reviewer (ADA) obtained copies of the full text articles and made copies for the other reviewer (NNA) in which details of authors, institution, results and discussion were removed in order to assess their eligibility for inclusion . Disagreements were resolved by discussion. Additional information on the trial methodology or data were requested by writing to the corresponding authors directly. The interventions compared were cryopreservation (embryo freezing) versus intra-venous human albumin administration and elective cryopreservation of all embryos versus fresh embryo transfer. The primary outcomes were: incidence of moderate and severe OHSS versus nil and or mild OHSS, clinical pregnancies and or woman. The secondary outcomes were: number of oocytes retrieved, number of oocytes fertilized, number of embryos transferred, number of embryos frozen, multiple pregnancy rate, live birth rate, number of women admitted to the hospital as inpatient or outpatient and time to the next menstrual period (resolution time). Statistical analysis was performed in accordance with the Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group guidelines. Main results: No new studies were identified for inclusion in the update therefore the of seventeen studies originally identified in the review published issue 2, 2002. It therefore remains that two studies of which met our inclusion criteria one study was included where cryopreservation (embryo freezing) was compared with intra-venous human albumin administration (Shaker 1996) and one study was included where elective cryopreservation of all embryos was compared with fresh embryo transfer (Ferraretti 1999). When cryopreservation was compared with intra-venous human albumin administration no difference was found in all the outcomes examined between the two groups. When elective cryopreservation of all embryos was compared with fresh embryo transfer no difference was found in all the outcomes examined between the two groups. Authors' conclusions: This updated of the review (D'Angelo 2002) has showed that there is insufficient evidence to support routine cryopreservation and insufficient evidence for the relative merits of intra-venous albumin versus cryopreservation.
 
Article
Background: Patients with chronic kidney disease have significant abnormalities of bone remodeling and mineral homeostasis and are at increased risk of fracture. The fracture risk for a kidney transplant recipient is four times that of the general population and higher than for a patient on dialysis. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) report the use of bisphosphonates, vitamin D sterols, calcitonin, and hormone replacement therapy to treat bone disease following transplantation. Objectives: To evaluate the use of interventions for treating bone disease following kidney transplantation. Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL in The Cochrane Library), Cochrane Renal Group's specialised register, MEDLINE, EMBASE, reference lists, and conference proceedings abstracts without language restriction. Date of last search: May 2006 Selection criteria: RCTs and quasi-RCTs comparing different treatments for kidney transplant recipients of any age were selected. We excluded all other transplant recipients, including kidney-pancreas transplant recipients. Data collection and analysis: Two authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Statistical analyses were performed using the random effects model and the results expressed as relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for dichotomous variables and mean difference (MD) for continuous outcomes. Main results: Twenty-four trials (1,299 patients) were included. No individual intervention (bisphosphonates, vitamin D sterol or calcitonin) was associated with a reduction in fracture risk compared with placebo. Combining results for all active interventions against placebo demonstrated any treatment of bone disease was associated with a reduction in the RR of fracture (RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.99). Bisphosphonates (any route), vitamin D sterol, and calcitonin all had a beneficial effect on the bone mineral density at the lumbar spine. Bisphosphonates and vitamin D sterol also had a beneficial effect on the bone mineral density at the femoral neck. Bisphosphonates had greater efficacy for preventing bone mineral density loss when compared head-to-head with vitamin D sterols. Few or no data were available for combined hormone replacement, testosterone, selective oestrogen receptor modulators, fluoride or anabolic steroids. Other outcomes including all-cause mortality and drug-related toxicity were reported infrequently. Authors' conclusions: Treatment with a bisphosphonate, vitamin D sterol or calcitonin after kidney transplantation may protect against immunosuppression-induced reductions in bone mineral density and prevent fracture. Adequately powered trials are required to determine whether bisphosphonates are better than vitamin D sterols for fracture prevention in this population. The optimal route, timing, and duration of administration of these interventions remains unknown.
 
Article
While initial dietary management immediately after formal diagnosis is an 'accepted' cornerstone of treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, a formal and systematic overview of its efficacy and method of delivery is not currently available. To assess the effects of type and frequency of different types of dietary advice for adults with type 2 diabetes. We carried out a comprehensive search of The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, bibliographies and contacted relevant experts. All randomised controlled trials, of six months or longer, in which dietary advice was the main intervention. The lead investigator performed all data extraction and quality scoring with duplication being carried out by one of the other six investigators independently with discrepancies resolved by discussion and consensus. Authors were contacted for missing data. Thirty-six articles reporting a total of eighteen trials following 1467 participants were included. Dietary approaches assessed in this review were low-fat/high-carbohydrate diets, high-fat/low-carbohydrate diets, low-calorie (1000 kcal per day) and very-low-calorie (500 kcal per day) diets and modified fat diets. Two trials compared the American Diabetes Association exchange diet with a standard reduced fat diet and five studies assessed low-fat diets versus moderate fat or low-carbohydrate diets. Two studies assessed the effect of a very-low-calorie diet versus a low-calorie diet. Six studies compared dietary advice with dietary advice plus exercise and three other studies assessed dietary advice versus dietary advice plus behavioural approaches. The studies all measured weight and measures of glycaemic control although not all studies reported these in the articles published. Other outcomes which were measured in these studies included mortality, blood pressure, serum cholesterol (including LDL and HDL cholesterol), serum triglycerides, maximal exercise capacity and compliance. The results suggest that adoption of regular exercise is a good way to promote better glycaemic control in type 2 diabetic patients, however all of these studies were at high risk of bias. There are no high quality data on the efficacy of the dietary treatment of type 2 diabetes, however the data available indicate that the adoption of exercise appears to improve glycated haemoglobin at six and twelve months in people with type 2 diabetes. There is an urgent need for well-designed studies which examine a range of interventions, at various points during follow-up, although there is a promising study currently underway.
 
Article
Skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby at birth reduces crying, improves mother-baby interaction, keeps the baby warmer, and helps women breastfeed successfully. In many cultures, babies are generally cradled naked on their mother's bare chest at birth. Historically, this was necessary for the baby's survival. In recent times, in some societies as more babies are born in hospital, babies are separated or dressed before being given to their mothers. It has been suggested that in industrialized societies, hospital routines may significantly disrupt early mother-infant interactions and have harmful effects. The review was done to see if there was any impact of early skin-to-skin contact between the mother and her newborn baby on infant health, behavior and breastfeeding. The review included 30 studies involving 1925 mothers and their babies. It showed that babies interacted more with their mothers, stayed warmer, and cried less. Babies were more likely to be breastfed, and to breastfeed for longer, if they had early skin-to-skin contact. Babies were also, possibly, more likely to have a good early relationship with their mothers, but this was difficult to measure.
 
Article
Background: In neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) new vessels grow under the retina distorting vision and leading to scarring. This is exacerbated if the blood vessels leak. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been investigated as a way to treat the neovascular membranes without affecting the retina. Objectives: The aim of this review was to examine the effects of PDT in the treatment of neovascular AMD. Search strategy: We searched CENTRAL (Issue 1, 2007), MEDLINE (1966 to March 2007), EMBASE (1980 to March 2007). We contacted experts in the field and searched the reference lists of relevant studies. Selection criteria: We included randomised trials of PDT in people with choroidal neovascularisation due to AMD. Data collection and analysis: Two authors independently extracted the data. Risk ratios were combined using a fixed-effect model after testing for heterogeneity. Main results: Three published trials were identified that randomised 1022 participants to verteporfin therapy compared to 5% dextrose in water. The TAP and VIP trials were performed by the same investigators using largely the same clinical centres and funded by manufacturers of verteporfin. Outcome data were available at 12 and 24 months after the first treatment. Participants received on average five treatments over two years. The risk ratio of losing three or more lines of visual acuity at 24 months comparing the intervention with the control group was 0.77 (95% confidence interval 0.69 to 0.87). The risk ratio of losing six or more lines of visual acuity at 24 months comparing the intervention with the control group was 0.62 (95% confidence interval 0.50 to 0.76). The results at 12 months were similar to those at 24 months. The most serious adverse outcome, acute (within seven days of treatment) severe visual acuity decrease, occurs in about one in 50 patients. Some outcomes from the more recent VIM trial could be included in the meta-analysis but have not greatly altered the findings. Authors' conclusions: Photodynamic therapy in people with choroidal neovascularisation due to AMD is probably effective in preventing visual loss though there is doubt about the size of the effect. Outcomes and potential adverse effects of this treatment should be monitored closely. Further independent trials of verteporfin are required to establish that the effects seen in this study are consistent and to examine important issues not yet addressed, particularly relating to quality of life and cost. However, the advent of new interventions for AMD make this unlikely.
 
Article
Immaturity, ischemia, and disturbances in gut mucosal integrity due to infections or hyperosmolar feeds are some of the suspected mechanisms in the development of necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm infants. Decreased concentration of nitric oxide is proposed as one of the possible cellular mechanisms for NEC. Plasma arginine concentrations were found to be lower in infants who developed NEC. Arginine can act as a substrate for the production of nitric oxide in the tissues and arginine supplementation may help in preventing NEC. To examine the effect of arginine supplementation on the incidence of NEC in preterm neonates. A literature search was performed using the following databases: MEDLINE (1966 - April 2007), EMBASE (1980 - April 2007), CINAHL (1982 - April 2007), Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (Issue 2, 2007 of Cochrane Library) and abstracts from the annual meetings of the Society for Pediatric Research, American Pediatric Society and Pediatric Academic Societies published in Pediatric Research (1991-2007). No language restrictions were applied. Study design: randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials. Population: preterm neonates. Intervention: enteral or parenteral arginine supplementation (in addition to what an infant may be receiving from enteral or parenteral source), compared to placebo or no treatment; arginine administered orally or parenterally for at least seven days in order to achieve adequate plasma arginine levels (145 umol/l). Outcomes: any of the following outcomes - NEC, death prior to discharge, death due to NEC, surgery for NEC, duration of total parenteral nutrition, plasma concentrations of arginine and glutamine at baseline and seven days after intervention, side effects of arginine. The methodological quality of the trials was assessed using the information provided in the studies and by personal communication with the author. Data on relevant outcomes were extracted and the effect size was estimated and reported as relative risk (RR), risk difference (RD) and mean difference (MD) as appropriate. Only one eligible study was identified. The methodological quality of the included study was good. There was a statistically significant reduction in the risk of developing NEC (any stage) in the arginine group compared with the placebo group [RR 0.24 (95% CI 0.10, 0.61), RD -0.21 (95% CI -0.32, -0.09)]. No significant side effects directly attributable to arginine were observed. In this updated version, follow up data from this trial were available that revealed no statistically significant difference in the adverse outcomes. The data are insufficient at present to support a practice recommendation. A multicentre randomized controlled study of arginine supplementation in preterm neonates is needed, focusing on the incidence of NEC, particularly the more severe stages (2 or 3).
 
Article
Background: Memory problems are a common cognitive complaint following stroke. Memory rehabilitation programmes either attempt to retrain lost or poor memory functions, or teach patients strategies to cope with them. Objectives: To determine the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation for memory problems following stroke. Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (last searched September 2006). In addition, we searched the following electronic databases; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library Issue 2, 2005), MEDLINE (1966 to June 2005), EMBASE (1980 to June 2005), CINAHL (1982 to June 2005), PsycINFO (1980 to July 2006), AMED (1985 to June 2005), British Nursing Index (1985 to June 2005), CAB Abstracts (1973 to May 2005) and the National Research Register (June 2006). We handsearched relevant journals and searched reference lists. Selection criteria: We selected controlled trials of memory retraining in stroke. We excluded studies with mixed aetiology groups unless 75% or more of the participants had a stroke or separate data were available for the stroke patients. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors selected trials for inclusion, assessed quality, and extracted data. Main results: Two trials, involving 18 participants, were included. One study compared the effectiveness of a mnemonic strategy treatment group with a 'drill and practice' control, while the other compared the effectiveness of an imagery mnemonics programme with a 'pragmatic' memory rehabilitation control programme. Formal meta-analyses could not be performed due to a paucity of studies and lack of commonly-employed outcome measures. The results do not show any significant effect of memory rehabilitation on performance of objective memory tests, and no significant effects of treatment on subjective and observer-rated measures of memory. Authors' conclusions: There was no evidence to support or refute the effectiveness of memory rehabilitation on functional outcomes, and objective, subjective, and observer-rated memory measures. There is a need for more robust, well-designed and better-reported trials of memory rehabilitation using common standardised outcome measures.
 
Article
Background: Periurethral or transurethral injection of bulking agents is a surgical procedure most often used for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence a common, troublesome symptom amongst adult women. Objectives: To assess the effects of periurethral/transurethral injection therapy in the treatment of urinary incontinence in women. Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Incontinence Group Specialised Trials Register (28 February 2007), MEDLINE (January 1996 to March 2007, PREMEDLINE (7 February 2007) and the reference lists of relevant articles. Selection criteria: All randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials of treatment for urinary incontinence, in which at least one management arm involved periurethral/transurethral injection therapy. Data collection and analysis: Two reviewers independently assessed methodological quality of each study using explicit criteria. Data extraction was undertaken independently using a standard form and clarification concerning possible unreported data sought directly from the investigators. Main results: We identified twelve trials including 1318 women that met the inclusion criteria. The limited data available were not suitable for meta-analysis. Injection of autologous fat was compared to placebo in a study of 68 women which was terminated early because of safety concerns. No differences in subjective or objective outcome were found in the two groups. No studies were found comparing injection therapy with conservative treatment. Two studies that compared injection with surgical management found significantly better objective outcome in the surgical group. Eight studies compared different agents - all results had wide confidence intervals. Silicone particles, calcium hydroxylapatite, ethylene vinyl alcohol and carbon spheres gave improvements equivalent to collagen. Porcine dermal implant gave improvements comparable to silicone at six months. A comparison of periurethral and transurethral methods of delivery of the bulking agent found similar outcome but a higher rate of early complications in the periurethral group. Authors' conclusions: Despite five additional trials, this updated review is still an unsatisfactory basis for practice. The trials were small and generally of moderate quality. The only evidence of benefit comes for within-group short-term changes following injection. The finding that placebo saline injection was followed by a similar symptomatic improvement questions the mechanism of any effects. There were no trials in comparison with pelvic floor muscle training -the obvious non-surgical comparator. Greater symptomatic improvement was observed after surgery, although these advantages need to be set against likely higher risks. No clear-cut conclusions could be drawn from trials comparing alternative agents; one small trial suggests that periurethral injection may carry more risks than transurethral injection. The single trial of autologous fat provides a reminder that periurethral injections can occasionally cause serious side-effects. Pending further evidence, injection therapy may represent a useful option for short-term symptomatic relief amongst selected women with co-morbidity that precludes anaesthesia - two or three injections are likely to be required to achieve a satisfactory result.
 
Article
Critically ill patients affected by severe acute respiratory failure need air to be pumped into their lungs (mechanical ventilation) to survive. Mechanical support buys time for the lungs to heal. Nevertheless, 40 to 50% still die. Several studies suggested that mechanical breathing can also cause lung damage and bleeding. A new lung-protective way of mechanical ventilation was tested in large trials. This systematic review shows that protective ventilation can decrease death in the short term, but the effects in the long term are uncertain or unknown.
 
Article
Drugs used to treat psychotic illnesses may take weeks to be effective. In the interim, additional 'as required' doses of medication can be used to calm patients in psychiatric wards. The practice is widespread with 20% - 50% of people on acute psychiatric wards receiving at least one 'as required' dose of psychotropic medication during their admission. To compare the effects of 'as required' medication regimens with regular regimens of medication for the treatment of psychotic symptoms or behavioural disturbance, thought to be secondary to psychotic illness. For this 2006 update, we searched The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group's register of trials (March 2006). We included all relevant randomised control trials involving hospital inpatients with schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like illnesses, comparing any regimen of medication administered for the short term relief of behavioural disturbance, or psychotic symptoms, to be given at the discretion of ward staff ('as required', 'prn') with fixed non-discretionary patterns of drug administration of the same drug(s). This was in addition to regular psychotropic medication for the long-term treatment of schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like illnesses where prescribed. We independently inspected abstracts, extracted data from the papers and quality assessed the data. For dichotomous data we would have calculated the relative risks (RR), with the 95% confidence intervals (CI) and the number needed to treat statistic (NNT). Analyses would have been conducted on an intention-to-treat basis. We didn't identify any randomised trials comparing 'as required' medication regimens to regular regimens of the same drug. There is no evidence from within randomised trials to support this common current practices. Current practice is based on clinical experience and habit rather than high quality evidence.
 
Article
Background: An admission to hospital provides an opportunity to help people stop smoking. Individuals may be more open to help at a time of perceived vulnerability, and may find it easier to quit in an environment where smoking is restricted or prohibited. Initiating smoking cessation services during hospitalisation may help more people to make and sustain a quit attempt. Objectives: To determine the effectiveness of interventions for smoking cessation that are initiated for hospitalised patients. Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group register which includes papers identified from CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE and PSYCINFO in January 2007, and CINAHL in August 2006 for studies of interventions for smoking cessation in hospitalised patients, using terms including (hospital and patient*) or hospitali* or inpatient* or admission* or admitted. Selection criteria: Randomized and quasi-randomized trials of behavioural, pharmacological or multicomponent interventions to help patients stop smoking, conducted with hospitalised patients who were current smokers or recent quitters (defined as having quit more than one month before hospital admission). The intervention had to start in the hospital but could continue after hospital discharge. We excluded studies of patients admitted for psychiatric disorders or substance abuse, studies that did not report abstinence rates and studies with follow up of less than six months. Data collection and analysis: Two authors extracted data independently for each paper, with disagreements resolved by consensus. Main results: Thirty-three trials met the inclusion criteria. Intensive counselling interventions that began during the hospital stay and continued with supportive contacts for at least one month after discharge increased smoking cessation rates after discharge (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.65, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.44 to 1.90; 17 trials). No statistically significant benefit was found for less intensive counselling interventions. The one study that tested a single brief (<=15 minutes) in-hospital intervention did not find it to be effective (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.67). Counselling of longer duration during the hospital stay was not associated with a higher quit rate (OR 1.08, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.29, eight trials). Even counselling that began in the hospital but had less than one month of supportive contact after discharge did not show significant benefit (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.31, six trials). Adding nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) did not produce a statistically significant increase in cessation over what was achieved by intensive counselling alone (OR 1.47, 95% CI 0.92 to 2.35, five studies). The one study that tested the effect of adding bupropion to intensive counselling had a similar nonsignificant effect (OR 1.56, 95% CI 0.79 to 3.06). A similar pattern of results was observed in smokers admitted to hospital because of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In this subgroup, intensive intervention with follow-up support increased the odds of smoking cessation (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.54 to 2.15, 11 trials), but less intensive interventions did not. One trial of intensive intervention including counselling and pharmacotherapy for smokers admitted with CVD assessed clinical and health care utilization endpoints, and found significant reductions in all-cause mortality and hospital readmission rates over a two-year follow-up period. Authors' conclusions: High intensity behavioural interventions that begin during a hospital stay and include at least one month of supportive contact after discharge promote smoking cessation among hospitalised patients. These interventions are effective regardless of the patient's admitting diagnosis. lnterventions of lower intensity or shorter duration have not been shown to be effective in this setting. There is insufficient direct evidence to conclude that adding NRT or bupropion to intensive counselling increases cessation rates over what is achieved by counselling alone, but the evidence of benefit for NRT has strengthened in this update and the point estimates are compatible with research in other settings showing that NRT and bupropion are effective.
 
Top-cited authors
Dawn Stacey
  • University of Ottawa
Charles Shey Wiysonge
  • South African Medical Research Council
France Légaré
  • Laval University
Carol Bennett
  • Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Nananda F Col
  • Shared Decision Making Resources