Medicines improve your chance of quitting smoking

cigarette and pills

We’ve always got plenty to say about smoking here at the Lifestyle Elf and few things make our pointy ears prick up as fast as hearing about new, high quality evidence on what can help people quit. So we’re very pleased to see a Cochrane overview on the effectiveness and safety of medicines to help [read the full story…]

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Perineal massage cuts risk of needing stitches after giving birth

woman cuddling her new baby

Listen up all you pregnant women out there, for I have good news for you today. Unless you are about to give birth any day now, that is, in which case best of luck with that! When I was pregnant, more than a decade ago, it was all yoga and perineal massage in my bit [read the full story…]

Games for health professionals – a Cochrane review investigates

Having looked at whether a board game can help smokers, in Monday’s blog, I’m now turning my attention to educational games for health professionals – going to work has never been so much fun! This was the unlikely topic of a Cochrane systematic review which has now been updated. There are lots of reasons why [read the full story…]

Shingles vaccination for older people: effective, but can they get it?

We Lifestyle Elves are pretty keen on encouraging people to do all those things we know are good for health and reduce our risk of illness and disease. We particularly like tackling those ‘modifiable risk factors’, things we can choose to do something about for the benefit of our health, so we’re always banging on about [read the full story…]

Helping older people in care homes and hospitals to avoid falls: new Cochrane evidence

We all know that falls can have very serious consequences for older people, and there are around three times as many falls amongst the over 65s in care homes and hospitals than out in the community. Back in the summer, I blogged about a Cochrane review on strategies to prevent falls in this population and this has [read the full story…]

More intensive behavioural support means more smokers successfully quit, finds new Cochrane review

Talk to anyone who’s ever given up smoking, or tried to, and they’ll tell you that it’s hard. Very hard. Here in the UK, you’ll probably be offered support in the form of individual or group sessions as well as nicotine replacement products and you can read more about that, including where to find your free local NHS [read the full story…]

Text messages can help smokers quit finds Cochrane review

Texting has just turned 20, with the first text message (“Merry Christmas”) sent on 3rd December 1992. Not that it was possible to send a reply, as that bit hadn’t quite been worked out. Any idea how many UK adults now text at least once a day? Read on to find out. Texting has played a [read the full story…]

CBT for gamblers: new Cochrane review finds evidence promising but problematic

How many of you buy lottery or raffle tickets, or perhaps chuck a quid into the office sweepstake on Derby Day? It’s every day stuff, with up to 85% of adults in some Western countries reporting some gambling activity in the past year. The Elf husband likes to complain that in all the years of being ‘encouraged’ to [read the full story…]

Do talking treatments help problem drinkers who also use illicit drugs? We’re still guessing

Alcohol Awareness Week starts today, with the theme ‘It’s time to talk about drinking’, so I thought we’d kick-start the week in this bit of the woodland by doing just that. Alcohol Concern’s Hair of the Dog campaign poster displays facts which may well achieve their aim of prompting conversation on this subject, including the [read the full story…]

Exercise can help people with cancer find their get-up-and-go

We know that exercise is good for us all and it seems that aerobic exercise, including walking and cycling, may help people having treatment for cancer to beat fatigue. A Cochrane review on this topic has been updated this week and now brings together evidence from 56 randomised controlled trials involving over 4000 people. The trials explored [read the full story…]