Podcasts from The Cochrane Library
Cochrane is preparing a special series of reviews to help decision makers deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, and we are keeping these up to date as new evidence becomes available. One of these reviews examines the accuracy of using signs and symptoms to diagnose whether someone has the disease. It was first published in June 2020 and has been updated in February 2021. Here’s the lead author, Thomas Struyf from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, to tell us about the latest findings.
How accurate are tests (Xpert Ultra and Xpert MTB/RIF) for diagnosing tuberculosis outside the lungs (extrapulmonary tuberculosis) and rifampicin resistance?
More than 140 Cochrane Reviews investigate the accuracy of diagnostic tests, covering a very wide range of conditions. One of these reviews, on a test used to detect tuberculosis, was updated in January 2021. The first author, Mikashmi Kohli from McGill University in Montreal Canada, tells us about the updating of the review and what they found.
Up to one in four couples planning a baby may have difficulty conceiving. Several interventions are available that might help and Cochrane has reviewed many of these. In August 2020, our review of antioxidants for female subfertility was updated and we asked one of the authors, Dr Rebecca Mackenzie-Proctor from the Auckland City Hospital in New Zealand to tell us about the rationale for the review and the latest evidence.
Remotely delivered information, training and support for informal caregivers of people with dementia
Alongside many Cochrane reviews of treatments for people with dementia, there are some that look at the effects of interventions that might help the people who care for them. These were added to in January 2021 with a new review of interventions designed to be delivered remotely. Here’s one of the authors, Jenny McCleery from the Oxford Health NHS Trust in England, to tell us about the findings.
What are the benefits and risks of giving corticosteroids to pregnant women at risk of premature birth?
One of the earliest Cochrane Reviews studied the effects of steroids for women at risk of a pre-term delivery, and built on an even earlier review. The Cochrane Review has been updated several times and the most recent version was published in December 2020. Two of the authors discuss the latest evidence in this podcast, starting with Emma McGoldrick from the Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust in the UK, who’s talking with Fiona Stewart from the Department of Women's and Children's Health at The University of Liverpool.
Many women who are breastfeeding experience breast engorgement and this can be a very distressing condition. Several possible treatments are known. The evidence for these were brought together in a third update to the relevant Cochrane Review in September 2020. The two authors, Irena Zakarija-Grković from Cochrane Croatia, based at the University of Split School of Medicine, and Fiona Stewart from the University of Liverpool in the UK talk about their findings in this podcast, starting with Fiona.
Pine bark extract supplements are marketed to prevent or treat a wide range of chronic diseases and a Cochrane Review from September 2020 assesses the evidence on their efficacy and safety. Monika Evans spoke with lead author, Nina Robertson from Stellenbosch University in South Africa about the findings.
How accurate is chest ultrasonography compared to supine chest radiography for diagnosis of traumatic pneumothorax in the emergency department?
Alongside the many thousands of Cochrane Reviews of the effects of interventions, our reviews of diagnostic test accuracy, or DTA, provide evidence to help clinicians choose between different techniques for diagnosing a health problem. In July 2020, we published the new DTA review on ultrasound versus x-ray for diagnosing pneumothorax in trauma patients. Here's lead author, Kenneth Chan from the Department of Emergency Medicine in the University of Calgary in Canada, to tell us what they found.
Myofunctional therapy (oropharyngeal - mouth and throat - exercises) for people with obstructive sleep apnoea
Obstructive sleep apnoea is a sleeping disorder that stops a person's breathing for periods during the night. Several treatments have been suggested and a new Cochrane Review for one of these, myofunctional therapy, was published in November 2020. Here's Emma Dennett, Managing Editor from the Cochrane Airways Group to tell us about the condition and the therapy, and the review's findings.
Probiotics for prevention of necrotising enterocolitis in very preterm or very low birthweight infants
The Cochrane Neonatal Group has produced more than 400 reviews in the last 25 years and strives to keep these up to date as new research becomes available. In October 2020, they produced the third update of the review of probiotics to prevent necrotising enterocolitis in very preterm or very low birth weight infants. We asked lead author, William McGuire from the University of York in the United Kingdom, to tell us about the latest evidence.
What is the best way to support resilience and mental well-being in frontline healthcare professionals during and after a pandemic?
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we gathered the most important questions from a range of stakeholders, including clinicians, patients and researchers. These led to a string of new reviews during 2020 and one of these, published in November 2020, looks at interventions to support the resilience and mental health of frontline workers. Here’s Alex Pollock from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland to tell us about the review.
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating challenges for diagnosis of the disease, as well as for its treatment. The rapid reviews being prepared and updated by Cochrane are covering both areas. We asked the lead author of the November 2020 versions of our review of the evidence on using imaging tests to diagnose the condition, Nayaar Islam from The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in Canada, to describe the latest findings in this podcast.
The Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group has produced more than 80 reviews on assisted reproduction and continues to add to these. In July 2020, they added a new review on the use of growth-factor supplemented culture media and we asked the lead author, Sarah Armstrong from the University of Sheffield in the UK to tell us what they found.
What are the benefits and risks of psychological therapies for adults with persistent and distressing pain that is neither cancer-related nor a headache?
Chronic pain is a major problem for many people, and it’s important to have up-to-date evidence on the effects of possible treatments. With that in mind, we published the third update of the Cochrane Review of psychological therapies for chronic pain in August 2020 and here’s lead author, Amanda Williams from University College London in the UK to tell us about the latest findings.
Renal vasculitis causes damage to the small blood vessels inside the kidneys and - when untreated - can lead to a rapid loss of kidney function. Therapies that block the immune system to switch off the vasculitis process are available but can lead to serious infections and other long-term complications. The Cochrane Review of treatments to induce and maintain disease remission for renal vasculitis was updated in January 2020 and we asked lead author, Giles Walters from Canberra Hospital in Australia to bring us up-to-date with the findings.
One of the most used Cochrane Methodology Reviews looks at the effects of interventions intended to boost recruitment to randomised trials. In October 2020, this was supplemented by a qualitative evidence synthesis of factors that impact on a person’s decision to join a trial. We asked the lead author, Catherine Houghton from the National University of Galway in Ireland to outline the findings.
Many people experience nausea or vomiting after surgery and dozens of drugs have been tested to prevent it. A new Cochrane review from October 2020 brings together all the trials in a network meta-analysis and we asked senior author Peter Kranke from the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University Hospital Wuerzburg in Germany to tell us about the importance of the review and what this vast amount of research tells us.
Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs compared with other oral pain killers for sprains, strains and bruises
Soft tissue injuries are common and one of the Cochrane Reviews of their treatment was updated in August 2020 to assess the effects of different types of pain killer. Here's Peter Jones from Auckland City Hospital in New Zealand to outline the latest findings.