Alcohol abstention advice to pregnant women is wrong, say campaigners

Health officials and experts are wrong to tell women that they should completely abstain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy, according to campaigners | OnMedica


Telling women that small quantities of alcohol in pregnancy can cause irreparable damage to a developing foetus has no basis in evidence and can cause needless anxiety, claimed academics and women’s advocates speaking at a conference in Canterbury, Kent.

The conference, Policing pregnancy: who should be a mother?, is a collaboration between the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) charity, the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies (CPCS), maternal rights campaign group Birthrights, and engaging sociology.

Currently, pregnant women are warned that even light alcohol consumption can cause problems for them and long-term harm to their foetus, such as stunted growth, and eventual learning difficulties and behavioural problems. Warnings also include the possibility of liver damage to the baby and increased risk of the mother having a miscarriage.

Read the full overview here

Related news article by the Guardian available here

School nurse toolkit: Evaluation of behaviour change interventions

School nurses are key professionals in delivering evidence-based public health
programmes and interventions to support children and young people achieve best
health outcomes | Public Health England

Obesity - A Positive Lifestyle

Evidence suggests that although school nurse interventions result in a variety of positive
outcomes there is a lack of formal and robust evaluation activities. This toolkit is for school nurses who are undertaking interventions to support behaviour change in children or young people. It takes a realistic approach that can be integrated into practice. Whilst there is no single way of doing evaluation, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to evaluation, this toolkit provides a guide to the processes and tools to use to evaluate the work you deliver.

View the full toolkit here


The role of evidence-based public health guidelines in local government

Kelly, M.P. et al. Journal of Public Health. Published online: 10 February 2017


Background: In 2013, many public health functions transferred from the National Health Service to local government in England. From 2006 NICE had produced public health guidelines based on the principles of evidence-based medicine. This study explores how the guidelines were received in the new environment in local government and related issues raised relating to the use of evidence in local authoritites.

Conclusions: Democratic political decision-making does not necessarily naturally align with decision-making based on evidence from the international scientific literature, and local knowledge and local evidence are very important in the ways that public health decisions are made.

Read the full article here

A Million Decisions: evidence-based healthcare

Health Education England and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals have launched a joint campaign for decisions in the healthcare sector to be fully evidence-based. 

Every day more than a million decisions are made that have a profound and lasting impact on people’s lives and which influence the quality of healthcare and the cost of services.

The #milliondecisions campaign calls for everyone involved in policy making and care delivery to use the skills of librarians and knowledge specialists in meeting their obligations under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Additional links: Impact case studies | CILIP campaign information

PODCAST: Big Data – what effect is it going to have on EBM

In this discussion we went to the The Farr Institute which is a of 21 academic institutions and health partners in the UK – whose mission is to deliver high-quality, cutting-edge research using ‘big data” | BMJ Talk Medicine

We know what the problems are – but what would positive change, when it comes to the creation and use of medical evidence look like? To find out we’re doing a series of discussions at various places around the world – where we’re talking to people who have a particular insight into one area of the evidence ecosystem. Ultimately we’re collating this into what we’re calling the evidence manifesto.

Read the full over view here

Qualitative evidence synthesis to improve implementation of clinical guidelines

Christopher Carroll argues that generic advice to share decision making is insufficient and that successful clinical guidelines need to reflect disease specific insights into patients’ experiences, views, beliefs, and priorities | BMJ


As Sackett and colleagues wrote 20 years ago, evidence based practice involves the use of the “best external evidence” to inform clinical decision making. The published evidence used to underpin clinical guidelines, including those produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK, is almost exclusively quantitative. This is understandable as the principal focus is efficacy and safety: the aim is to establish what works. However, Sackett and colleagues were also clear that clinical practice should take account of patients’ preferences.

This is currently achieved by patient involvement in the process and by using primary qualitative research, which uses techniques such as interviews to explore how and why patients make the decisions they do. But a synthesis of such qualitative research studies paints a rich, subtle, and useful picture of patients’ experience, views, beliefs, and priorities, and could improve the implementation of clinical guidelines.

Read the full article here

Study on Hospital Administrators’ Beliefs and Attitudes toward the Practice of Evidence-Based Management

Guo, R. et al. (2016) Hospital Topics. 94(3-4) pp. 62-66


The authors’ purpose was to explore hospital administrators’ beliefs and attitudes toward the practice of evidence-based management (EBMgt) and to identify the needs for EBMgt training programs. A cross-sectional, nonexperimental design was utilized. Survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Spearman’s correlation. The results showed that hospital administrators had positive attitudes toward the practice of EBMgt. There was a significant correlation between attitudes and percentage of healthcare management decisions made using an evidence-based practice approach (p < .01). The study findings suggest EBMgt educational training programs would likely help hospital administrators adopt evidence-based practice in management decision-making.

Read the full abstract here