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Concept: Cochrane Library


BACKGROUND: The aim of this review was to systematically review and meta-analyze the effects of yoga on symptoms of schizophrenia, quality of life, function, and hospitalization in patients with schizophrenia. METHODS: MEDLINE/Pubmed, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, PsycInfo, and IndMED were screened through August 2012. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing yoga to usual care or non-pharmacological interventions were analyzed when they assessed symptoms or quality of life in patients with schizophrenia. Cognitive function, social function, hospitalization, and safety were defined as secondary outcomes. Risk of bias was assessed using the risk of bias tool recommended by the Cochrane Back Review Group. Standardized mean differences (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. RESULTS: Five RCTs with a total of 337 patients were included; 2 RCTs had low risk of bias. Two RCTs compared yoga to usual care; 1 RCT compared yoga to exercise; and 2 3-arm RCTs compared yoga to usual care and exercise. No evidence was found for short-term effects of yoga compared to usual care on positive symptoms (SMD = -0.58; 95% CI -1.52 to 0.37; P = 0.23), or negative symptoms (SMD = -0.59; 95% CI -1.87 to 0.69; P = 0.36). Moderate evidence was found for short-term effects on quality of life compared to usual care (SMD = 2.28; 95% CI 0.42 to 4.14; P = 0.02). These effects were only present in studies with high risk of bias. No evidence was found for short-term effects on social function (SMD = 1.20; 95% CI -0.78 to 3.18; P = 0.23). Comparing yoga to exercise, no evidence was found for short-term effects on positive symptoms (SMD = -0.35; 95% CI -0.75 to 0.05; P = 0.09), negative symptoms (SMD = -0.28; 95% CI -1.42 to 0.86; P = 0.63), quality of life (SMD = 0.17; 95% CI -0.27 to 0.61; P = 0.45), or social function (SMD = 0.20; 95% CI -0.27 to 0.67; P = 0.41). Only 1 RCT reported adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review found only moderate evidence for short-term effects of yoga on quality of life. As these effects were not clearly distinguishable from bias and safety of the intervention was unclear, no recommendation can be made regarding yoga as a routine intervention for schizophrenia patients.

Concepts: Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, MEDLINE, Meta-analysis, Cochrane Collaboration, Cochrane Library, Systematic review, Evidence-based medicine, Randomized controlled trial


Prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is increasing globally, with the greatest projected increases in low-income and middle-income countries. We sought to quantify the proportion of Cochrane evidence relating to NCDs derived from such countries.

Concepts: Globalization, Cochrane Collaboration, Cochrane Library, Evidence-based medicine, Disease, World Bank, Randomized controlled trial, Poverty


To assess the relationship between surgical delay and mortality in elderly patients with hip fracture. Systematic review and meta-analysis of retrospective and prospective studies published from 1948 to 2011. Medline (from 1948), Embase (from 1974) and CINAHL (from 1982), and the Cochrane Library. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals for each study were extracted and pooled with a random effects model. Heterogeneity, publication bias, Bayesian analysis, and meta-regression analyses were done. Criteria for inclusion were retro- and prospective elderly population studies, patients with operated hip fractures, indication of timing of surgery and survival status.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, MEDLINE, Statistical inference, Cochrane Library, Hip fracture, Bone fracture, Systematic review, Evidence-based medicine


BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic studies have reported inconsistent results regarding coffee consumption and the risk of liver cancer. We performed a meta-analysis of published case–control and cohort studies to investigate the association between coffee consumption and liver cancer. METHODS: We searched Medline, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science and the Cochrane library for studies published up to May 2012. We performed a meta-analysis of nine case–control studies and seven cohort studies. RESULTS: The summary odds ratio (OR) for high vs no/almost never drinkers was 0.50 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.42–0.59), with no significant heterogeneity across studies (Q = 16.71; P = 0.337; I2 = 10.2%). The ORs were 0.50 (95% CI: 0.40–0.63) for case–control studies and 0.48 (95% CI: 0.38–0.62) for cohort studies. The OR was 0.38 (95% CI: 0.25–0.56) in males and 0.60 (95% CI: 0.33–1.10) in females. The OR was 0.45 (95% CI: 0.36–0.56) in Asian studies and 0.57 (95% CI: 0.44–0.75) in European studies. The OR was 0.39 (95% CI: 0.28–0.54) with no adjustment for a history of liver disease and 0.54 (95% CI: 0.46–0.66) after adjustment for a history of liver disease. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this meta-analysis suggested an inverse association between coffee consumption and liver cancer. Because of the small number of studies, further prospective studies are needed.

Concepts: Study design, Odds ratio, Infectious disease, Evidence-based medicine, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Cancer, Epidemiology


IMPORTANCE Many people meditate to reduce psychological stress and stress-related health problems. To counsel people appropriately, clinicians need to know what the evidence says about the health benefits of meditation. OBJECTIVE To determine the efficacy of meditation programs in improving stress-related outcomes (anxiety, depression, stress/distress, positive mood, mental health-related quality of life, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, pain, and weight) in diverse adult clinical populations. EVIDENCE REVIEW We identified randomized clinical trials with active controls for placebo effects through November 2012 from MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, PsycArticles, Scopus, CINAHL, AMED, the Cochrane Library, and hand searches. Two independent reviewers screened citations and extracted data. We graded the strength of evidence using 4 domains (risk of bias, precision, directness, and consistency) and determined the magnitude and direction of effect by calculating the relative difference between groups in change from baseline. When possible, we conducted meta-analyses using standardized mean differences to obtain aggregate estimates of effect size with 95% confidence intervals. FINDINGS After reviewing 18 753 citations, we included 47 trials with 3515 participants. Mindfulness meditation programs had moderate evidence of improved anxiety (effect size, 0.38 [95% CI, 0.12-0.64] at 8 weeks and 0.22 [0.02-0.43] at 3-6 months), depression (0.30 [0.00-0.59] at 8 weeks and 0.23 [0.05-0.42] at 3-6 months), and pain (0.33 [0.03- 0.62]) and low evidence of improved stress/distress and mental health-related quality of life. We found low evidence of no effect or insufficient evidence of any effect of meditation programs on positive mood, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, and weight. We found no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment (ie, drugs, exercise, and other behavioral therapies). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Clinicians should be aware that meditation programs can result in small to moderate reductions of multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress. Thus, clinicians should be prepared to talk with their patients about the role that a meditation program could have in addressing psychological stress. Stronger study designs are needed to determine the effects of meditation programs in improving the positive dimensions of mental health and stress-related behavior.

Concepts: Meditation, Cochrane Library, Clinical research, Clinical trial, Psychology, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Meta-analysis


Myopia has a multifactorial etiology, although environmental factors are predominant in determining its current patterns. Currently, associations between near work activities and myopia have not been consistently observed. Therefore, we performed a systematic review to quantify the effect of near work activities on myopia in children. Relevant articles published between 1989 and 2014 were identified in MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library, and the citation lists were reviewed. Twelve cohort studies and 15 cross-sectional studies were included (25,025 children aged between 6 and 18 years). The I2 statistic was used to assess heterogeneity. Study-level data were pooled using a random-effects model or a fixed-effects model (when less than 5 studies were included). We found that more time spent on near work activities was associated with higher odds of myopia (odds ratio [OR] = 1.14; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.08-1.20) and that the odds of myopia increased by 2% (OR:1.02; 95% CI = 1.01-1.03) for every one diopter-hour (hr) more of near work per week. Therefore, the development of a strategy to reduce the impact of near work on myopia would be important for preventing myopia in children.

Concepts: Longitudinal study, Research methods, Effect size, MEDLINE, Systematic review, Cochrane Library, Epidemiology, Evidence-based medicine


BACKGROUND: Diets that are based on the ABO blood group system have been promoted over the past decade and claim to improve health and decrease risk of disease. To our knowledge, the evidence to support the effectiveness of blood type diets has not previously been assessed in the scientific literature. OBJECTIVE: In this current systematic review, published studies that presented data related to blood type diets were identified and critically appraised by using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. DESIGN: A systematic search was performed to answer the following question: In humans grouped according to blood type, does adherence to a specific diet improve health and/or decrease risk of disease compared with nonadherence to the diet? The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, and Embase were systematically searched by using sensitive search strategies. RESULTS: Sixteen articles were identified from a total of 1415 screened references, with only one article that was considered eligible according to the selection criteria. The identified article studied the variation between LDL-cholesterol responses of different MNS blood types to a low-fat diet. However, the study did not directly answer the current question. No studies that showed the health effects of ABO blood type diets were identified. CONCLUSIONS: No evidence currently exists to validate the purported health benefits of blood type diets. To validate these claims, studies are required that compare the health outcomes between participants adhering to a particular blood type diet (experimental group) and participants continuing a standard diet (control group) within a particular blood type population.

Concepts: Cochrane Library, Blood type diet, Blood types in Japanese culture, Human blood group systems, Red blood cell, Blood type, Blood, ABO blood group system


BACKGROUND: Suboptimum medication adherence is common in the United States and leads to serious negative health consequences but may respond to intervention. PURPOSE: To assess the comparative effectiveness of patient, provider, systems, and policy interventions that aim to improve medication adherence for chronic health conditions in the United States. DATA SOURCES: Eligible peer-reviewed publications from MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library indexed through 4 June 2012 and additional studies from reference lists and technical experts. STUDY SELECTION: Randomized, controlled trials of patient, provider, or systems interventions to improve adherence to long-term medications and nonrandomized studies of policy interventions to improve medication adherence. DATA EXTRACTION: Two investigators independently selected, extracted data from, and rated the risk of bias of relevant studies. DATA SYNTHESIS: The evidence was synthesized separately for each clinical condition; within each condition, the type of intervention was synthesized. Two reviewers graded the strength of evidence by using established criteria. From 4124 eligible abstracts, 62 trials of patient-, provider-, or systems-level interventions evaluated 18 types of interventions; another 4 observational studies and 1 trial of policy interventions evaluated the effect of reduced medication copayments or improved prescription drug coverage. Clinical conditions amenable to multiple approaches to improving adherence include hypertension, heart failure, depression, and asthma. Interventions that improve adherence across multiple clinical conditions include policy interventions to reduce copayments or improve prescription drug coverage, systems interventions to offer case management, and patient-level educational interventions with behavioral support. LIMITATIONS: Studies were limited to adults with chronic conditions (excluding HIV, AIDS, severe mental illness, and substance abuse) in the United States. Clinical and methodological heterogeneity hindered quantitative data pooling. CONCLUSION: Reduced out-of-pocket expenses, case management, and patient education with behavioral support all improved medication adherence for more than 1 condition. Evidence is limited on whether these approaches are broadly applicable or affect long-term medication adherence and health outcomes. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Concepts: MEDLINE, United States, Scientific method, Cochrane Library, Prescription drug, Food and Drug Administration, Pharmacology, Medicine


The objective of this study is to investigate the association between osteoarthritis (OA) and all-cause mortality in worldwide populations and to develop recommendations according to GRADE evidence levels. Literature search through Nov 2015 was performed using the electronic databases (including MEDLINE, EMBASE, EBSCO and Cochrane library). The prospective cohort trials that investigated the association between the symptomatic OA (SxOA) or radiological OA (ROA) and all-cause mortality were identified. Hazard ratios (HR) of all-cause mortality in patients with RxOA or ROA were pooled respectively. The evidence quality was evaluated using the GRADE system, while the recommendations were taken according to the quality. Nine of the published literature met the eligible criteria. Meta-analysis revealed that there was no significant difference in the association between SxOA and all-cause mortality (HR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.68-1.23) and between ROA and all-cause mortality (HR = 1.13, 95% CI: 0.95-1.35). The overall GARDE evidence quality was very low, which will lower our confidence in taking recommendations. To summarize, there was no reliable and confident evidence existed currently in respect of the association between OA and all-cause mortality. Due to the very low level of evidence quality currently, high-quality studies are still required.

Concepts: Confidence, Grade, The Association, Windy, MEDLINE, Systematic review, Cochrane Library, Evidence-based medicine


We aimed to develop evidence-based multinational recommendations for the diagnosis and management of gout. Using a formal voting process, a panel of 78 international rheumatologists developed 10 key clinical questions pertinent to the diagnosis and management of gout. Each question was investigated with a systematic literature review. Medline, Embase, Cochrane CENTRAL and abstracts from 2010-2011 European League Against Rheumatism and American College of Rheumatology meetings were searched in each review. Relevant studies were independently reviewed by two individuals for data extraction and synthesis and risk of bias assessment. Using this evidence, rheumatologists from 14 countries (Europe, South America and Australasia) developed national recommendations. After rounds of discussion and voting, multinational recommendations were formulated. Each recommendation was graded according to the level of evidence. Agreement and potential impact on clinical practice were assessed. Combining evidence and clinical expertise, 10 recommendations were produced. One recommendation referred to the diagnosis of gout, two referred to cardiovascular and renal comorbidities, six focused on different aspects of the management of gout (including drug treatment and monitoring), and the last recommendation referred to the management of asymptomatic hyperuricaemia. The level of agreement with the recommendations ranged from 8.1 to 9.2 (mean 8.7) on a 1-10 scale, with 10 representing full agreement. Ten recommendations on the diagnosis and management of gout were established. They are evidence-based and supported by a large panel of rheumatologists from 14 countries, enhancing their utility in clinical practice.

Concepts: Cochrane Library, The Canon of Medicine, Critical thinking, Hyperuricemia, Evidence-based medicine, Gout, Systematic review, Rheumatology