Cochrane for Clinicians

These are summaries of reviews from the Cochrane Library.

May 1, 2016 Issue
Antiviral Therapy for Bell Palsy
The combination of antiviral agents and corticosteroids is more effective than corticosteroids alone for the complete recovery of patients with Bell palsy (number needed to treat [NNT] = 15) and for the resolution of motor synkinesis and excessive tear production (NNT = 12). Antivirals should not be used alone to treat Bell palsy.

May 1, 2016 Issue
Fluoride Varnish for Preventing Dental Caries in Children and Adolescents
Topically applied fluoride varnishes are safe and effective in preventing dental caries in children and adolescents. There is little information about adverse effects or treatment acceptability. Family physicians should consider incorporating fluoride varnish into childhood preventive care visits.

Apr 1, 2016 Issue
Pilates for the Treatment of Low Back Pain
There is low- to moderate-quality evidence that Pilates exercises taught by certified instructors improve pain and reduce disability in patients with chronic low back pain. It is unclear whether a Pilates regimen is superior to other exercise plans for the treatment of low back pain. Adverse effects are uncommon.

Apr 1, 2016 Issue
Impact of Antenatal Dietary Education and Supplementation on Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes
Antenatal dietary education appears to decrease the rate of preterm birth and increase infant birth weight among undernourished women. Providing balanced energy and protein supplements to pregnant women decreases the risk of stillbirth, low birth weight, and having an infant that is small for gestational age (number needed to treat [NNT] = 28).

Mar 1, 2016 Issue
The Impact of Contraception on Lactation
Use of hormonal contraception does not appear to shorten breastfeeding duration or negatively impact infant growth, based on inconsistent evidence of moderate quality. It is unclear if hormonal contraception negatively impacts breast milk volume or composition. Overall, there was limited evidence regarding any particular hormonal contraceptive method.

Mar 1, 2016 Issue
Influenza Vaccination for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
Influenza vaccination may reduce cardiovascular mortality in patients with established cardiovascular disease. The effect of vaccination is unclear among patients in the general population without known cardiovascular disease.

Feb 1, 2016 Issue
Quinine for Leg Cramps
Quinine is moderately effective in decreasing the frequency and intensity of muscle cramps, but it is also associated with an increase in minor adverse effects. In addition, there is a risk of rare but serious adverse effects.

Feb 1, 2016 Issue
Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation
Electronic cigarettes with nicotine increase smoking cessation rates compared with placebo, with effectiveness similar to that of nicotine patches. In addition, more patients using electronic cigarettes with nicotine were able to halve their use of cigarettes than those using placebo electronic cigarettes or nicotine patches. Long-term safety is unknown.

Jan 1, 2016 Issue
Therapist-Supported Online Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Adult Anxiety
Therapist-supported online CBT is more effective than no treatment and as effective as face-to-face CBT for reducing overall anxiety as well as symptoms, and improving quality of life in adults with anxiety disorders.

Dec 1, 2015 Issue
Chewing Gum for Postoperative Recovery of Gastrointestinal Function
Having patients chew gum reduces the time to first flatus and time to first bowel movement, as well as the length of hospitalization by about half a day.

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