Archive for September, 2012
Diagram from Almeida OP, Yeap BB, Alfonso H, Hankey GJ, Flicker L, et al. (2012) Older Men Who Use Computers Have Lower Risk of Dementia. PLoS ONE 7(8):
e44239. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044239 (Creative Commons Attribution License)
An interesting Australian study published in PLOS One recently by Almeida and colleagues suggests that computer use is associated with a reduced incidence of Dementia. However this is not the same as saying that computer use reduces the risk of Dementia. That would imply causality. This study establishes a relationship and the authors draw caution in their conclusions.
So what were the key points of the study?
- 5506 older adult men (age 69 to 87 years) were followed-up in the community
- Mean age was 75.5 years
- They were followed up for 8.5 years
- The primary outcome was the incidence of Dementia (using ICD-10 diagnostic criteria)
- If diagnoses were made before 1996, ICD-9 was used
- Computer use…
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There are so many different types of care to choose from how do you know which is the best? Well there should always be some evidence that whatever type of care you are provided with or providing should be effective and not do any harm. Research is often carried out to find out how effective some treatments are and this might include medication, surgery, counselling or other therapeutic interventions. Fortunately we no longer need to go looking for the evidence as the two main health and social care organisations will do it for us. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE – pronounced SKY) -see links on the right -make recommendations for best practice and also produce easy read guides. A very useful and free resource. If you are looking for more hard core evidence go to the Cochrane Library that identifies and reviews only the most rigorous research, usually in the form of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) Meta Analysis and Systematic Reviews.